Mushroom, Barley, Kale, Carrot

Mushroom, Barley, Kale, Carrot in a Rich Roasted Turkey Stock

The weekend after Thanksgiving is always bittersweet: memories of a magical week spent with family mix with a bit of sadness that we won’t be seeing each other for a while. Over the past few years it has become a ritual to make a comforting soup with the rich turkey stock while I wash piles of sheets and towels, store all the huge pots & platters, and put away the turkey decorations including “Albuquerque the Turkey” and “Plymouth Rock” until next year.

See ya next year Albuquerque!

The stock was made by simmering the turkey carcass in filtered water with rough chopped carrot, onion, celery, and a couple bay leaves. Two and a half hours later, the stock was strained, cooled, and refrigerated over night.

Remove any fat from the stock then add rinsed pearl barley and cook until the barley is al dente, about 45 minutes to one hour. Meanwhile sauté sliced mushrooms in olive oil with thyme until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. In a separate pan, sauté 2 parts sliced carrot with 1 part each diced onion and celery in olive oil with some minced rosemary until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables to the barley soup and simmer another 15 minutes. Add torn pieces of Tuscan kale (center ribs removed) and simmer until the kale is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with red pepper flakes on the side.

Since the kids have already left by the time I boil the carcass, I save this year’s wishbone for next year’s wish. I let it dry out then tuck it into a plastic baggie and store it with the rest of the turkey decorations, to come out at our next Thanksgiving meal.

Wishing you wonderful holiday memories…

Gratitude Soup

Maybe you’re a little bit tired of turkey by now? I didn’t want to scare you away by posting another turkey leftover dish. But alas, that is what this is…and then some.
Roasted Turkey Soup
 With Pearled Barley and Dinosaur Kale
As I made this soup, I reminisced about Thanksgiving week…
I took the turkey carcass and made a very flavorful stock. And rather than me go through the details, I would like to refer you to Cajun Chef Ryan’s recent post, he details turkey stock perfectly. Cajun Chef Ryan’s blog is awesome.
I added about 1 cup+ of pearled barley to the strained stock, along with a bay leaf, and simmered until al dente, a little over one hour.
Meanwhile, I browned quartered mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil. Also in a separate pan sautéed celery, shallots, and carrots in olive oil until tender, lastly added chopped garlic.
Dinosaur Kale

Remove the main rib from the kale, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Lacinato Kale, also known as Cavalo Nero, Tuscan Kale, and Dinosaur Kale – in honor of my nephews I am sticking with the DINOSAUR nomenclature. 
I added the vegetables including kale to the soup. Simmered until the kale was tender, about 15 minutes Added salt and pepper to taste. 
It was very satisfying and delicious! Especially so, seasoned with a big dose of gratitude:
I had a wonderful week with my family and friends. Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday, thank you Pilgrims, Native Americans and President Lincoln! 
Thank you to my mother, Joyce, for well, just about everything, but today for being who you are – a very special lady, the family matriarch, and a wonderful role model. My grandparents aptly named you JOY.
Oh, Ma, and thank you for lending me your gorgeous antique Franciscan Apple dinnerware.
Thank you to my brother Don, there is absolutely no one in the world that has a more generous, smart, kind and fun little brother than I.
And to my sister-in-law Kristy, I could not ask for a better one. You are so dear to me, thank you for all your help, and laughter, and sisterhood. I love you.
And to my nephews, Stone who is now seven years old, and Jett who is now five. You are the light of my life. I adore cooking with you. Your visits to California are the highlight of my year. And boy oh boy are you both getting good at basketball! 
Last year I installed a basketball court in my backyard, and we sure have great fun there. Any of you playing basketball during the holiday season, consider our good idea: We play T-U-R-K-E-Y instead of H-O-R-S-E. 

A Savory Life Indeed

To my entire family and all my dear dear friends and colleagues. I wish you a wonderful upcoming holiday season. I am truly grateful for you all. Oh how very fortunate I am to have you in my life. Thank you.

Turkey Mushroom Barley Soup

Doesn’t soup just hit the spot after the holiday meals?

Feeling lucky? Carve the wishbone from the turkey breast. Clean and dry the wishbone. Two people each grasp one end and twist until it breaks. The person left with the longer piece (the one who got the “lucky break”) gets to make a wish, a wish to be granted by the great turkey spirits!

Cooking the carcass for soup makes the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving all over again. I break up the carcass then simmer it for a few hours in water with rough chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Strain, cool, refrigerate overnight, remove some fat.
Add 2 bay leaves to the turkey stock and a generous cup of pearl barley. Cook for about an hour or so until the barley is tender. Meanwhile sauté chopped onions, celery, and carrots in butter until soft, then add sliced crimini mushrooms, and finally chopped garlic.
When the barley is tender, add the vegetables and leftover diced turkey to the soup. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, remove the bay. To finish, add chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Wishbone lucky break or not,
May all your holiday wishes come true…