Leftover Turkey & Carcass…..

Hi Everyone-

If you know anything about me, you know that I waste nothing.  You should also know that when it comes to soups or using stock in any recipe, I make my own.  That being said, let’s talk turkey.

Hopefully you’ve got the entire carcass left in the refrigerator.  First pick off as much meat as possible and refrigerate until your soup is ready for it.  Check out this post,  turkey stock and soup.  Great simple instruction on how to deal with the leftover bones and meat. 

Email me if you have any questions!

Enjoy the long weekend!


Great Northern Bean Soup with Homemade Italian Chicken Sausage…..

Great northern beans are a lovely, mild white bean.  Soak them over night to make for quicker cooking the next day.  For an extra creamy textured soup, puree a couple of cups after the beans have fully cooked or use an immersion blender for a few seconds.  Use a small amount of chicken sausage (recipe below) as the flavor goes a long way.

Great Northern Bean Soup with Homemade Chicken Sausage

1 lb. dried great northern beans, soaked over night, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb. homemade chicken Italian sausage (recipe below)
1 large sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1)  The night before cooking, sort through the beans to pick out any debris.  Place in a large cooking pot and cover with 2″ of water.  Allow to soak over night.
2)  The next day, drain and rinse the beans. 
3)  Into the large pot, add the olive oil and warm over medium-high heat.  Add the Italian sausage to the hot pan and cook through.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook for about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook another minute.
4)  Add the carrots, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Add the beans to the pot and fill the pot with water to cover the beans 1″.  Cook over medium heat for 1-1 1/2 hours.  Stir often to prevent sticking.  Add additional water if the water cooks below the beans.  Once the beans are done,  taste.  Add additional seasoning if necessary.  Remove a couple of cups of hot soup and place in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth and add back to soup.  Makes about 8 one cup servings.

White Bean Soup with Ham Bone….

My Grandma Inez always made white bean soup. It was the best tasting soup I can remember.  She used ham bones or ham hocks.  She was an amazing, old fashioned cook.  I loved her and I miss her so much.  This is a lovely way to keep her memory alive, isn’t it?  I always think of her when I make it.  This is my version of her white bean soup.

Don’t you love a dish you can just throw together in one pot?   When using dried beans, they need to be soaked overnight, rinsed, and drained before cooking.   I use a ham bone or you can use a ham hock for flavor, just like Grandma.   If you don’t don’t care to use a ham bone or a hock, use chicken stock instead of water for the liquid.  Make enough to freeze and enjoy later.

Here we go…

First sort the beans to remove any unwanted debris.  Soak overnight.  Simple put the beans in the pot you’ll be cooking them in and cover with about 3 inches of water.  You can see how much they’ve increased in size through re hydrating.  This will greatly decrease cooking time.  Drain and rinse.

My beans are ready….
Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and ham bone….
Add rosemary…..
And finally, add the water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for an hour or until the beans are soft.
Once the beans are fully cooked, remove the bone from the soup.  Cool until you can handle the bone and remove any bits of meat from the bone.  Add the meat to the soup and discard the bone.  Enjoy with Fresh Sage Cornbread. 

White Bean Soup with Ham Bone and Rosemary

1 pound of great northern beans, sorted, rinsed, and soaked covered with water over night
1 ½ cups celery and leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ cups onions, finely chopped
1 ½ cups carrots, finely chopped
1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
8 cups water
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Add all ingredients to the beans in the soup pot. Over medium heat, bring soup to a simmer. Cook for an hour, stirring occasionally, or until the beans are soft (this will require a taste). Remove the ham bone and pick off any meat and put into the soup, discard the bone. Add parsley. Taste before you season with salt and pepper.   Makes eight servings.

*note-sometimes dried beans you buy have been on the shelf for awhile.  This makes for a much longer cooking time.  Be patient.  Add additional water and keep cooking until the beans are tender. 
**this soup freezes well.




Gee, anyone sick of being cold?  In addition to the cold, sick of being sick?  It seems that every time I turn around, someone in the house is sick.  The perfect remedy?  Soup.  The ultimate comfort food when you’re sick or healthy.  Piping hot and loaded with goodness.  With or without meat, you choose.  In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing some of my favorite soup recipes.  In addition, what’s soup without a yummy bread side.  How about cheddar corn muffins?  Or an old fashioned buttermilk biscuit?

Have you been saving your chicken bones/carcasses?  There is absolutely NOTHING like making your own chicken soup base.  All you need is a carrot, a stalk of celery, a half an onion, and water. (and chicken bones, of course)  The longer you simmer the better.  If the water gets low, simply add more.  I simmer this concoction for about 4 hours.  Remove the large bones with a slotted spoon.  I strain stock through a sieve to insure that there are no bones or skin left in the stock.

Vegetable stock is equally as simple.  Stash all those asparagus ends you don’t use, broccoli stems, or any fresh vegetables you can’t use in a timely manner in the freezer.  Dump it all in a pot and cover with water.  Again, add some onion, celery, and carrot.  Simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, do not allow to boil.

If you enjoy rotisserie chicken on occasion, save that carcass.  As always, label and date what you put into the freezer.  If you’ve got a few pieces of chicken leftover from a dinner, freeze them, they’ll work too.

Get ready, we’re makin’ soup! (and bread:-)

Have a great day!