Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou and Turkey Salad
I’m a big fan of cooking without a recipe (except when baking). And, when I’m trying to clean out my fridge I can get pretty creative—although not everything is picture-worthy. Yesterday I was anxious to finish up the leftover turkey in my fridge because last year I stuck the turkey in the freezer at the last possible minute and then never used it—and that is just wrong.
So, this year I made two dishes: Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou and Turkey Salad. The turkey soup is pretty standard, but I spiced it up with the Cranberry Parsley Pistou. If you’ve never tried Soupe au Pistou, it is a French vegetable soup from Provence with a dollop of “pistou” which is essentially pesto without the pine nuts. It’s a puree of olive oil, garlic, parmesan and herbs (usually basil). The version of pistou that I’ve made before has tomato paste in it as well. I really like it because it is a great way to jazz up soup, and shouldn’t soup be jazzy? However, my ponytails don’t like jazzy soup (they call anything they don’t like “spicy”) so they will get the plain version. Isn’t that perfect though? An ingredient so special that it is just for the adults?
I should point out that the cranberry in the pistou is VERY subtle. It just adds a hint of sweetness and you see a few tiny specs of red in the soup, but you really have to look for them. I loved being able to use up the left-over cranberry as well!
Now I have put together a recipe for my soup (below), but it is the perfect dish to try without a recipe or to completely change up my version. Consider mine a starting point and go with what you have leftover in your fridge and how much you have of each ingredient. I’ve also made a small portion of the pistou because it is just for the two of us, but you could easily double it if you are serving a crowd.
I’m not going to include a recipe for the turkey salad. I just chopped up the turkey into cubes, added enough low-fat mayo to cover it nicely, then threw in a couple pieces of chopped celery and green onion and a handful of pine nuts and raisins. I’ve never had it with pine nuts and raisins before, but perhaps it is not that original. I quite liked it.
Turkey Soup with Cranberry Parsley Pistou
For the stock:
- Turkey carcass and bones
- Onion, quartered
- 2 whole carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- Small bunch of parsley (whole)
- Bay leaf
For the soup:
- 1-1/2 small onions, chopped
- 3 celery, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 potatoes diced (if you have them – I was out so didn’t use them this time)
- 3 cups chopped turkey
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 cups medium egg noodles
- 1 cup peas
For the pistou:
- ½ cup tightly packed flat leaf Italian parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp whole cranberry sauce
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
- ½ clove of garlic, minced (add more if you like garlic)
Place the turkey carcass and bones, along with vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, parsley and bay leaf) in a large stock pot and cover with water. I filled mine pretty close to the top of the pot, because I wanted to maximize my soup yield. Simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Strain turkey stock and throw out the carcass, bones and vegetables. Place the lovely strained stock back in your pot and add all remaining ingredients except the peas and egg noodles. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the peas and egg noodles and cook for 15 more minutes. (You can sauté the vegetables in a bit of olive oil first, but I skipped this step.)
For the Pistou, place the parsley, cranberry, parmesan, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and puree. Pour in the olive oil with the motor running until the mixture is completely blended.
Ladle your soup into a bowl and add a dollop (or two, pending preference) of pistou. Enjoy.
Here’s a picture of the turkey salad, just waiting for some good bread.
There’s something very grounding about traditions. They link us to the past, and sometimes they even link us to past generations. Such is the case with my mom’s recipe for plum pudding. She’s been making it at the holidays for at least 45 years now. And, my grandmother made it every year for Christmas, as did her mother and grandmother before her. (My mom fondly remembers the Christmas day of her childhood — a horse drawn sleigh ride on the farm, followed by dinner and pudding.) By my calculations then, this pudding has been an Edington family tradition for well over 100 years.
I must tell you though, that the name of this dish is very misleading, as it is neither “modern” nor does it contain any plums. Apparently, it is called “modern” because at the time (100+ years ago), it was a new take on the traditional plum pudding made with preserved or glazed fruit and nuts. The grated carrots and potatoes, (without any egg) make this a unique take on “The Pud”. I would describe it as a cross between carrot cake and sticky toffee pudding.
Traditional plum pudding is also doused in brandy and lit at the table, or served with brandy butter or a white cream glaze. My mom developed her own version of a Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce for The Pud, which I love so much I could bathe in it. Her pudding and sauce are the reason that I am unable to move after Christmas dinner. The knowledge that this flavor combination comes but once a year prompts the second and third helping. You get the picture. Both ponytails loved it this year, and I guess that makes sense since they always order sticky toffee pudding at our local pub.
Modern Plum Pudding
- 1 cup grated raw carrot
- 1 cup grated raw potatoes
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¾ cup sultana raisins
- ½ cup currants
- ½ cup butter or suet
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
Grate carrots and potatoes. Measure and set aside. Mix the butter and sugar until well blended. Add ½ of potatoes, and all of carrots. Mix well. Sprinkle raisins and currants with 1 tbsp of the flour and add to the potato mixture. Mix together remaining flour and spices, and add to the mixture. Dissolve soda in remaining half of the potatoes, mix well and add to the mixture. Stir the mixture well. Place in a pudding mold and add lid. Set the mold in a into a large pot filled with water half-way up the mold and steam (with lid on) for 3 hours.
(Before I bought the mold that we use now, my mom always used a small pyrex bowl and covered the pudding with cheese cloth and then wax paper. She placed a rack in the bottom of a canning pot, placed the bowl on the rack and then filled the pot with water until it touched the bottom of the bowl.)
Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce
- 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 3 cups water
- 4 to 5 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp brandy
Melt butter in large frying pan. Add brown sugar and cook until mixture starts to brown (approx. 2 minutes). Add water, and stir. In a small bowl add a bit of water to the corn starch (enough to cover) and mix. Add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar mixture to the cornstarch before adding to the pan. The sauce should be thick enough to nicely stick to the pudding. Add brandy and vanilla. Drizzle the sauce over each piece of pudding before serving.