This year’s pressure cooker turkey soup is inspired by the Scottish classic, Cock-a-leekie.1 Instead of boiling an old rooster, I use thanksgiving leftovers – the bones from my turkey. (You did save the bones, right?)2
The first thing to do is break up the carcass. Unless you have a huge (10 or 12 quart) pressure cooker, it’s not going to fit. Grab the backbone in one hand, the keel bone in the other, and pull them apart.3 Or, get out your poultry shears and cut the backbone away from the rib cage. Yes, this is messy work. I promise, after this it is all downhill.
The other key to the recipe is cleaning out the leeks. Farmers grow leeks by burying them in dirt – that’s what keeps the tender white part of the leeks white. But that also means that diet gets between the layers of the leeks, and they need to be gently pulled apart and cleaned. Now, in most recipes, we discard the tough leek greens, and only use the tender white part. Not today – we can use them in the pot with the turkey stock, to add even more leek flavor to our soup.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Turk-A-Leekie Soup
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot Electric PC)
Use Thanksgiving leftovers in the Scottish classic Cock-A-Leekie soup, to make Turk-A-Leekie soup.
- Bones from a cooked turkey, with clinging meat
- Green parts from a 1 pound bunch of leeks, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Water to cover (3 to 4 quarts)
- 1/4 pound bacon, diced or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- White parts from a 1 pound bunch of leeks, rinsed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 6 pitted prunes, cut in quarters (or rough chop them)
- 1/2 cup long grain white rice
- 3 quarts turkey broth (from above)
- 2 cups shredded cooked turkey meat (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Minced parsley
- Make Turkey Broth: Put the bones in the pressure cooker, add the leek greens, peppercorns, thyme, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover with water (or up to the max fill line on your pressure cooker), lock the lid, bring to high pressure, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes in a stovetop PC, 1 hour in an electric PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 30 minutes. Scoop out as much of the solids as possible with a slotted spoon, then strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. (At this point, the broth can be refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.)
- Cook the bacon: Wipe out the pressure cooker pot, then put it over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook the bacon until crispy, then scoop it out with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the fat behind as possible.
- Saute the aromatics: Add the white part of the leeks to the pot, sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and stir to coat with bacon fat. Cook until the leeks soften and start to show a little browning on the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prunes and rice, pour in the turkey stock, then stir in the reserved bacon and shredded turkey.
- Pressure Cook the soup:Lock the lid on the cooker, bring to high pressure, and pressure cook for 5 minutes (for both stovetop and electric PCs). Quick release the pressure, then open the lid away from you – the steam is still scalding.
- Season and serve:Taste the soup and add salt and pepper until the soup tastes full bodied. I usually add another 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and a half teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. (Please don’t skimp on the salt – unseasoned soup tastes bland.) Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Instead of pressure cooking the turkey broth, simmer it for 4 hours. Then, instead of pressure cooking the soup, simmer it for 30 minutes.
- Finding a pot large enough to hold 4 quarts of strained stock is easy if you have a spare pot for your pressure cooker. Put the fine mesh strainer over the top and pour from one pot into the other.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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