Turkey Soup works well as a meal for an ordinary day.
Chicken may be used in place of turkey, but is not as nice and often costs more per pound.
If you have raw turkey
- Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. This may take a few days.
- Wash the turkey, including the inside. There may be a bag of organ meat inside the turkey; some of this will be needed.
- Discard the liver, often found in the organ bag.
- Discard the kidneys if you can find them. They are usually still attached to the inside of the turkey. Your broth will taste better if you can get rid of the kidneys and the liver.
- Place the turkey in a pan, preferably on a wire rack to keep the turkey out of the broth.
- Poke holes in the turkey to let the broth drain. Do this also to the neck.
- Place the neck, heart, and gizzards in the pan. To protect them from the heat, shove them under the edge of the turkey a bit.
- Cook the turkey, following directions for temperature. Increased time will get you more broth and make the meat nearest to the skin be as if it were fried. At regular intervals, collect broth from the pan and replace it with a small amount of water to prevent burning. (the broth in the pan will burn if it is allowed to go completely dry) You may wish to eat the heart part-way through the cooking time.
- Eat the turkey meal, saving the sliceable parts for sandwiches and the softer parts for soup. Save the skin and bones.
- Place the skin, bones, wing tips, neck, gizzards, and so on into a large pot. Leave out any severely burned parts. Crush the bones down a bit, and cover with water, and add a lid.
- Bring to a boil reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the longer the better; 30 minutes will do but an hour or two would be better. You may need to add water from time to time to replace any lost water. Do not allow the water to fully boil away. This is critical; it is very easy to ruin this by boiling away the water.
- Strain the liquid from this pot into another container.
- Mix some of the liquid from the boiling of the bones into the broth you collected while cooking. You'll have to go by taste and experience. If you use too many bones in the broth, the result will have an overly strong flavor you may add water to taste. Note that a proper broth solidifies like gelatin when it is refrigerated.
- If you have a great deal of fat, you may wish to scrape some off after it solidifies. Do not remove all of the fat, you will lose a lot of the flavor.
Once you have the broth and cooked turkey
- Cut the turkey into chunks similar in size to your egg noodles. Most ingredients should be cut to this size.
- Place the broth, spices, and celery into a large pot.
- Bring the pot to a simmer.
- If using an egg, this is the time to add it. Mix the egg in a bowl, or just use the white. From just above the surface of the liquid in your pot, dribble the egg into the pot while moving across the pot. Do not stir until the egg has set. This should produce egg filaments.
- Add the noodles, turkey and, optionally, the frozen corn.
- If your broth did not have much fat, add some oil.
- If the noodles are not soft yet, wait until they are soft.
- Add the broccoli and, optionally, the asparagus. When the broccoli loses the bluish cast and becomes bright green, serve the soup. Do not allow the broccoli to cook any more, especially not to the point where it begins to get a yellow-brown cast. You may use ice to stop the cooking and more quickly bring the soup to an eatable temperature.