From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...In my kitchen, turkey soup is usually a thrown together affair. The carcass is unceremoniously dumped into a lobster pot, along with a clove studded onion, a few stalks of celery and and several peeled carrots. I add some salt, thyme and a bay leaf and then cover the contents with water and let the brew boil and bubble until it achieves a richness that would set even Macbeth's witches cackling with approval. With that bit of history in mind, you'll better understand how unlikely it was for me to even look at, much less try, this three step turkey soup that comes from an old issue of Fine Cooking magazine. I think the dumplings, made from a choux paste that simmers and steams in the soup, were my undoing. I couldn't resist giving them a try and I'm happy to report they are worth the small effort required to make them. The soup is enjoyable but very mildly flavored and without the dumplings would be a ho-hum affair. The dumplings, however, are really special and I urge you to try the soup because of them. They are not hard to make, though you may have to cook them 5 to 10 minutes longer than the recipe suggests. The important thing is to try them. They are much lighter than biscuit-type dumplings and the herbs give them enormous flavor. Here is how the soup and the dumplings are made.
Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables and Herbed Dumplings...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of fine Cooking magazine
2 medium carrots cut in 2-inch pieces
2 medium celery sticks cut in 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion cut in quarters
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
1 turkey carcass halved and any extra bones
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
4 medium carrots quartered and cut in 1/2- inch pieces
4 medium parsnips quartered, cored and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups celery root cut in 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-oz.)/can diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
3 cups medium diced turkey
2 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves, ribs removed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chives
1) To make broth: In a 10 quart pot, combine carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, wine, carcass and bones. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently until broth is rich and flavorful 4 - 6 hours. Strain broth through a fine sieve and discard solids. Let cool, then skim off and discard fat on the surface. Refrigerate.
2) To make soup: Heat oil in a heavy duty 6 to 8 quart pot over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, parsnips, and celery and cook until vegetables start to color, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, wine, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add 2 quarts of turkey broth and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add turkey and Swiss chard and simmer until the chard is wilted, about 5 minutes.
3) To make dumplings: In a 3 quart saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water and butter and salt to a boil over medium heat. When butter melts, remove pan from heat and stir in flour until thoroughly combined. Return pan to medium heat and stir until mixture pulls away from side of the pan. Scrape dough into a large bowl. With a sturdy wooden spoon, beat in eggs one by one until batter is smooth. Fold in the chopped herbs. Using two 1/2- teaspoon measures, drop spoonfuls of batter into simmering soup until all batter is used. After dumplings rise to top, cover pan and steam dumplings until they have doubled, about 4 minutes. Serve hot. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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