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Mexican Turkey Soup
Dec 3rd, 2004

Frozen chicken carcasses are fairly gnarly. Two lone frozen turkey legs with cold pimply skin aren't really that appetizing looking either. But when you dump them all in a pot with some chopped up veggies and water, some alchemy occurs and all of a sudden you have... soup! Delicious, steamy, aromatic soup. It's enough to keep me stashing away my homely chewed over chicken bones until I have enough for a pot of soup, like this Mexican Turkey Soup.

The only things that make it Mexican really are the addition of jalapeno pepper, garlic, and tomatoes and a squeeze of lime before eating. I put barley in too, which kind of muddies the whole ethnicity of the dish, so mine was a bit confused, but awfully tasty.

I don't know if this is a recipe per se, but here are some guidelines.


Mexican Turkey Soup

for the stock
2 chicken carcasses from roast chickens past
2 uncooked turkey legs
1 onion, quartered, don't bother to peel
2 or 3 celery sticks, chopped in 2 inch lengths
2 or 3 carrots, chopped in 2 inch lengths
Some roughly chopped parsley
Several garlic cloves, unpeeled

for the soup
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 diced zucchini (or any other combination of veggies)
1 minced jalapeno pepper (seeds removed if you don't like hot)
4 or 5 minced garlic cloves
the reserved turkey meat
1/2 cup barley
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
salt to taste
oil for sauteing
lime wedges for serving


Put all the stock ingredients in a tall stockpot with enough water to cover. Simmer without boiling for several hours, until it tastes "stocky" enough for you. Pour the stock into a container and refrigerate (be sure to press down on the veggies in a strainer to get that last bit of goodness out of them). Remove the turkey meat from the leg bones and refrigerate separately. Discard the veggies.

The next day (most likely), pull the stock out of the fridge and skim off the fat on top. Shake the container and watch the stock wiggle like jello - that's good stuff!

To make the soup saute the garlic, celery, carrots, zuchinni, and jalapenos in some olive oil for several minutes in the bottom of your soup pot. Sprinkle over some salt and then add the stock and barley. Cook until the barley is tender (20 minutes or so) and then add the turkey and tomatoes. Cook until everything is warm and the tastes have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in bowls with lime wedges to squeeze over the soup.

-Kymm
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com