Creamy Turkey Soup

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Leftover turkey?  In July?

Well, yes.  When you live along the Gulf Coast (or East Coast, after Hurricane Sandy), you learn to empty the freezer during the month of July.  I had one turkey left in the freezer, a nice 11 pound turkey that I purchased for a whopping $5.04, way back in November.

It was time to cook this turkey!

I also have some fresh creamed corn and a beautiful yellow squash, both from my neighbor’s garden.  If you are making this in the winter, you can leave out the squash altogether or add some black beans instead.

To make this soup, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart turkey stock, hot
  • 2 cups shredded or diced leftover roasted turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups creamed corn (or 1 14.5 ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow squash or zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 4-ounce can green chili, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
  • 3 tablespoons yellow grits, aka polenta

In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions, and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add the red bell pepper, and saute about8.

Add the butter and let melt.  Add the flour, and stir together well, cook for about 1 minute.

Add the hot stock, one cup at a time.  You may need to use a whisk to incorporate the roux into the stock.  Once you’ve added all the stock, add the turkey, corn, and squash or zucchini.  Add the green chilis and the cumin, yellow grits and heavy cream (optional).

Simmer for at least 30 minutes on low, up to an hour.  Add the cream just before serving and heat through.

This would be great topped with a little cheese and cilantro, and maybe some sriracha!

Note:  You can add a 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne to spice things up.  If it’s lacking in flavor, you can add some garlic powder and more cumin.  The roasted turkey I prepared was heavily seasoned with cajun seasoning as well as adobo, so, the resulting stock was well-seasoned.  Almost too well-seasoned. So, if the recipe seems a little mild, that is why.

&, one last note: I have to say that using a homemade stock greatly increases the flavor and richness of this soup.  Homemade stock really does make a difference, if you have the time.  I made this turkey stock in the crockpot, on low for about 18 hours.  It jellied up nicely in the fridge, which is the key indicator of a good stock.

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