I don’t know about you but I have been feeling terrible lately. March is turning out to be one of the coldest months of the year and my fibromyalgia is at its worst. On top of that, I have be fending off the flu that my hubby brought home from work by making my super immunity soup. When that ran out and I could feel illness approaching me for a body slam once again I turned to the big guns: turkey soup.
I mentioned in my interview and article in the Jackson Sun that my mom rarely baked but you should know that my mom most definitely cooked for us when we were growing up. She is not one for sweets so she put her passion into cooking. It was quite amazing to see what she could create on a budget. One of the best time periods of my childhood is when she was part of a gourmet cooking club, permanently solidifying our mutual love of Bernaise sauce. She would rarely make the same thing twice (a trait I inherited) and always cooked with lots of love. When we weren’t feeling well she would make a big batch of her turkey noodle soup and it truly was a healing elixir we looked forward to with every cold.
It has been a while since I made soup and I needed some inspiration so I turned to Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen Cookbook. Her Anxiety-Stricken Chicken Soup video is one of my favourites (so funny, the woman is a genius) so I looked up her recipe for “Mom’s Chicken Soup” and got cooking.
In a stockpot you want to saute six crushed de-germed garlic cloves in olive oil for two minutes until golden. “De-germed” means that you remove the woody stock in the middle of the garlic clove that is sometimes green. Then add two chopped onions and saute for eight minutes until the onions become translucent.
At this point you are supposed to add a whole gutted chicken and a pound of chicken bones but that was not in my budget (whole chickens are $12-15 right now) so I picked up a large $5 turkey breast instead. I know most kids grew up on chicken soup as a cure for a cold but for us, it was turkey.
Add 3 quartered carrots, 3 quartered celery ribs and cover with water. I had some asparagus ends in my freezer so I threw them in too.
Top with 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves and half a cup fresh parsley, chopped. I added a bay leaf and some peppercorns too. Simmer, covered for three hours. Don’t forget to skim the foam off the top as it cooks.
I could not believe it. I had run out of cheesecloth! I had to get creative so I used some coffee filters I had on hand to strain the soup into another pot.
I do not know what happened! This was all the broth I had left! I guess I cooked it too hard or something but wow, not a lot of broth. Yes, I could have added water to stretch it out but I wanted all that healing energy and power right away but I had to wait! Nadia G. says to wait overnight for the fat to solidify so that is what I did.
Thankfully there was not a heck of a lot of fat! It was all around the edges of the pot so I used a very fine mesh strainer to catch some of the globules on the top leaving most of the fat behind.
I heated the broth and added half the turkey. I broke up some spaghettini and brought the soup to a simmer.
After a few minutes I added… frozen peas. Now my mom will not be happy about this. I used to avoid canned peas like the plague when I was growing up and she would add a whole can of them to her big batch of soup, brine and all. I did not have any canned peas so yes, I added frozen peas instead. (Insert face-palm.)
Now is the time to season your soup. It may taste like nothing at first but keep adding salt and suddenly, the flavours will burst forward. Wonderful!!!
So close!!! Thanks to my mom and Nadia G., this soup did make me feel infinitely better. So tasty, healthy, fabulous… as Nadia G. says, this truly is liquid gold. But Mom is right, you need to use canned peas if you want it to taste just like hers. What a wonderful excuse to have to try and make it again.
Turkey soup has such a distinct flavour and really makes me feel like a kid again, not to mentioned loved. Which is good because I may have successfully fought off the flu but my fibro is killing me. So this foodie is signing off for the weekend and resting in the fetal position until everything stops screaming. Great time for me to do all that product testing because I have a feeling my time spent in the kitchen is coming to a halt for a while.
Happy weekend everyone!