Aguadito de Pavo (The Best Use of Leftover Turkey)

how to make aguadito de pavo, aguadito, peruvian turkey and rice soup

Aguadito de Pavo
Peruvian Turkey & Rice Soup

The best use of leftover turkey? This is it. A vibrant spicy soup which utilizes the leftover turkey meat and well as the stock made from simmering the carcass for hours. And if your guests have overindulged, this soup is said to levanta muertos (raise the dead) and assist in carrying the revelry into the holiday weekend. Made with Pisco (a Peruvian Brandy) and spicy/fruity/yellow aji amarillo paste, its unique flavors pair with the nourishing and reviving vegetables, and just enough turkey to keep us in the holiday spirit…we’re not tired of the bird yet!

Continue reading “Aguadito de Pavo (The Best Use of Leftover Turkey)”

Can Split Pea Soup Ever Be Pretty?

split pea soup
Herbed Split Pea Soup
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme with Ham and Potato
Fried Sage and Garlic Chive Blossom Garnish

Tasty, you bet. To the eye, it has the most unfortunate color and often sludgy texture. But close your eyes, and you will be transported to soup heaven. Rich, flavorful, nourishing and comforting split pea soup has global appeal. Vegetarian versions are as equally satisfying as those made with ham or bacon.

Split pea will always be a nostalgic, family soup. It doesn’t remind us of our favorite gourmet restaurant or our most memorable meal, instead, it is a soup that soothes, calms, and makes us feel nurtured, at home, comfortable.

Continue reading “Can Split Pea Soup Ever Be Pretty?”

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…

Chestnut and Mushroom Soup

Chestnut and Mushroom Soup
Truffle Oil and Tamari Drizzle
Yep, we’re in the kitchen today. First dish we completed for tomorrow’s Big Feast is the soup. This is Clotilde Dusoulier’s recipe from her Chocolate & Zucchini Cookbook. Bravo Clotilde! For the past several years I’ve made a Cauliflower Soup with a Vanilla Chestnut Cream Swirl. Thought we’d try something different this time. An excellent soup for Thanksgiving, Chestnut and Mushroom Soup is elegant and unique yet not too much work, as we have lots of other dishes to prep today. The compelling ingredients include chestnut, mushroom, leek, shallot, garlic and Cognac with a vegetable stock. There is no cream, but this vegetarian soup has a wonderful creaminess as well as a lovely Fall earthiness. I added a drizzle of truffle oil and tamari to give it an even deeper umami flavor.

Here’s the Menu for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal:

  • Cheese Platter with Accompaniments
  • Barbecued Oysters
  • Chestnut & Mushroom Soup
  • Traditional Turkey & Traditional Gravy
  • Foie Gravy
  • Pat’s Popovers
  • Linda’s Mashed Potatoes
  • Linda’s Creamed Corn
  • Wild Mushroom, Leek, & Sage Dressing
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze
  • Sweet Potato Gratin
  • Cranberry Relish
  • Assorted Homebaked Pies with Ice Cream & Whipped Cream

OK, back to the kitchen. Wishing you all a Glorious Holiday!