Cooking once, cooking twice, pressure cooking turkey soup with rice.
Apologies to Maurice Sendak and Carole King.
Some people dread Thanksgiving leftovers. Not me. I look forward to lunches that look like Thanksgiving dinner – reheated turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, all smothered with gravy.
But the highlight of my thanksgiving leftovers is turkey soup, made from the leftover bones of the turkey. Every year, I make a big batch of turkey broth. I use half of the broth in Turkey Noodle soup, and the rest goes into a soup experiment.
They laughed at me at the University. Laughed! Ahahahaha…cough. Ahem. Sorry. Mad soup scientist gone wrong.
This year’s “other” soup was for my wife. She grew up loving chicken soup with rice; this is my riff on that – turkey soup with green beans, peppers, and rice. (And nothing to do with the fact that I had a couple of cups of leftover rice and uncooked beans in the refrigerator. Nothing at all.)
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Turkey Soup with Rice
- 8 quart or larger pressure cooker (unless you’re willing to get your hands dirty and break the turkey carcass up into small enough pieces to fit in a 6 quart cooker)
- Fine mesh strainer
Pressure Cooker Turkey Soup with Rice. Cook it once, cook it twice…
- Carcass from 1 roasted turkey (bones, clinging meat and skin)
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 piece of celery, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Water to cover (4 quarts or more)
Turkey Soup with Rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or one or more of dried basil, thyme, and oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 quarts turkey stock
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 2 cups cooked turkey meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 inch lengths
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch squares
- Splash of Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the turkey stock: Put all the Turkey Stock ingredients in the pressure cooker and cover with water. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring it up to high pressure, and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes in a stove top PC, 55 minutes in an electric PC. Turn off the heat, and let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove the lid, opening away from you to protect yourself from the hot steam. Scoop the solids out of the pot with a slotted spoon, then strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 6 months. (You only need about half the stock for the soup; freeze the rest for another batch in a few weeks.)
- Saute the aromatics: If you are making the soup right away, wipe out the pressure cooker pot and return it to the stove top. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot (or a large saucepan) over medium heat until it starts shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot, then sprinkle with the salt, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Saute the aromatics until they are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and saute until you can smell the garlic, about 2 more minutes.
- Make the soup: Pour in the turkey stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned and stuck onions. Increase the heat to high and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, turkey, beans, and peppers; bring the pot back to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste. (The soup will need a lot of salt, because there is no salt in the stock. I added 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt. Add salt, tasting as you go, until the flavor goes from flat to full bodied, and you can just taste a hint of salt on the tip of your tongue.) Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
For more turkey stock details, see Pressure Cooker Turkey Stock Revisited.
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Stock: Put everything into a large pot or dutch oven, bring to a boil on the stove top, then transfer to a 180°F oven for 5 hours. (For more details, see Ruhlman’s Turkey Stock). Finish the rest of the recipe as written, using a large sauce pot on the stove top.
- Smaller pressure cooker? If you can break up the main body of the turkey carcass, it will fit. Get tough, show it’s who’s boss, and you’ll be able to break it up enough to fit. (Doing this while it’s still warm from the oven, and using a pair of poultry shears makes it easier…but it’s still messy work, pulling apart the carcass.) Then, use as much water as you can, filling right up to the “max fill” line.
- Soup is great for freezing. Store it in two cup containers in the freezer, pop them in the microwave for six to eight minutes, and lunch is steaming hot and ready to eat.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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