01 December 2016

Creamy No-Dairy Broccoli Soup

As always, I made too much food for Thanksgiving dinner. It was clear, by late Thanksgiving morning, that that was the way things were going, so I dropped the steamed broccoli with thyme and lemon butter and garlicky sautéed spinach from the menu. Which still left us with maple mashed sweet, sour cream and chive mashed white, buttery corn, thyme and onion peas, and garlicky creamed spinach. As well as, of course, the turkey, gravy, and stuffing!


All that for five people. What can I say? I'm a feeder.

Anyway, BROCCOLI. What to do with the broccoli? Roast it? Chop it into a salad? Turn it into soup? Mmm ... soup ...


While this soup has a very smooth and creamy texture, it contains absolutely no dairy or dairy analogue. The home-made turkey broth lends the soup lots of flavor and richness with very little added fat (I made good use of my OXO Good Grips fat separator) -- for all it deliciousness, this is really quite a healthy soup. Definitely be making it again as winter sets in.


Creamy No-Dairy Broccoli Soup

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 20 oz fresh broccoli florets
  • 4 cups home-made turkey broth
  • Salt and black pepper, as desired

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a French/Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are softened and onion is translucent. Add garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, until very fragrant.
  2. Add broccoli florets and broth. Bring pot to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook until very broccoli is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. When cool, puree the soup with a stick blender until desired level of smoothness is reached. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

This is a very thick soup, so feel free to add more broth if you prefer a thinner one! Also, if you use vegetable broth, this dish is perfectly appropriate for vegans and vegetarians.

26 November 2016

Gobble-Gobble In My Pot

We'd pretty much picked the turkey carcass clean of white meat by Saturday so I decided to go ahead and make soup right away rather than chucking the carcass in the freezer and making it Someday. Also, the freezer is kind-of full right now and I'm not sure it would have fit ... someone needs to do a no-shopping challenge, again.


Each time I make turkey or chicken soup it comes out differently because I don't have a set recipe -- I always start the same way, but what goes in at the end varies as I tend to simply round up whatever open bags of frozen vegetables I can find and dump them in the pot with whatever slightly wrinkly potatoes or rice/barley/noodle bag ends I find in the pantry. Seasoning depends strongly on taste and mood -- sometimes, I make a spicy turkey soup but more often it is just very garlicky and redolent with thyme.

How I made this turkey soup:
  1. Removed all bits of skin/fat from the turkey carcass and then crushed it down a bit to fit in my big French/Dutch oven.
  2. Surrounded the carcass with carrots, onion, celery, bay, and fresh thyme.
  3. Topped the whole thing off with cold water and let it simmer for about three hours (I took an unplanned nap at this point).
  4. Drained pot contents through a cheesecloth lined colander into a big basin.
  5. Picked vegetable bits out and set aside.
  6. Separated edible turkey bits from inedible.
  7. Used my OXO Good Grips (a Thanksgiving gift to myself and well worth it) fat separator to remove the fat from the broth.
  8. Poured most of the broth back into the pot (reserving four cups for another soup)
  9. Broke the veggies up a bit and put them back in the pot. Ditto the turkey, odds-and-ends of bagged frozen corn and peas, and a half cup of pastina.
  10. Let everything cook for about thirty minutes, then taste-tested and added parsley, salt, and black pepper as whim took me.

And the leftover dark meat? I turned most of that into easy turkey enchiladas using kitchen staples like corn tortillas and salsa verde. They weren't fancy (or in any way authentic), but they tasted good.

Also, the cats got some turkey, because it's Thanksgiving and they deserve a little feast of their own. Unfortunately, they now demand turkey every time we wander near the kitchen ...