Warning: This post is a bit picture heavy.
I said the other day I was going to make turkey soup, and today was the day. The weather had taken a turn towards winter, and while it alternated blowing, raining and snowing, I went to work.
I actually started yesterday afternoon with caramalizing onions. I do this very, very slowly. I know you can brown onions in a few minutes, but I love how they turn out when I really take my time. Started with a 10 pound bag of yellow onions that I got from Costco. One onion went into the pot of ratatoiulle that I made a few days ago, and one at the bottom of the bag had gone bad, but the rest got sliced thinly.
While I was slicing I started melting a stick of butter and some olive oil in the pot. The approximately 9 pounds of onion were enough to nearly fill my big stock pot.
As much time as this takes, it’s worth doing a ton of them at a time. I just stir the pot when I happen to walk thru the kitchen. They weren’t finished when I went to bed so I just turned off the stove and covered the pot (this time of year my house stays pretty cool at night, so I knew it would be ok). I cook them on very low heat and stir occasionally, so while it takes forever it isn’t very labor intensive. I had to get up very early this morning (more on that later), so I finished cooking them today. When they are done I always celebrate with an onion sandwich. Yes they are that good! Most of the rest get put into the small bags in the freezer so I have some available to add to other dishes. One small bag went into the fridge, and the rest were left in the pot. This is a picture of the whole finished batch, about 1/4 the volume that I started with. They need to sweat for a long time and get rid of all the water before they can start browning. They are so sweet it is absolutely unbelievable.
While they were finishing up I rough chopped some red potatoes I had and I drizzled them and some baby carrots with olive oil and popped them into a hot oven to roast. This is how they turned out. I love the flavor of roasted veggies so much more than boiled.
I ended up slicing the carrots in half to make them more bite size. They joined the onions and the smoked turkey stock in the pot to start heating up.
It was amazing how much meat had been left on the carcass. Glad I hadn’t tossed the whole thing without looking at it. A nice thing about using smoked meat was that it hadn’t dried out while I was making the stock. I’ve had that problem with chicken stock in the past, and to me the meat that has cooked with the bones becomes unusable in the soup. Also, there is virtually no fat on the stock. It’s kind of hard to see in the picture above, but there’s only about a 1/16th inch layer of fat in the jar (if that).
I also happened to have a bunch of kale in the fridge, so I destemmed that (the stems got chopped up and will go the chickens in the morning) and gave the leaves a quick chop.
A few minutes all together in the pot with some spices, and this is what I ended up with. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks!
So, why was I up early today? I am a night owl through and through. It’s nothing for me to stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning, and since I’m not going into work I usually get up about 9 am. Today, my feet hit the ground at 6:15. Yuck! It was still dark, and even the cats couldn’t believe it. But I had to be at the radiology center for an isotope injection at 6:45. The tech did a good stick (which is hard on me since I have veins that would discourage me from ever becoming a junkie were I so inclined), then I got to go away for a couple of hours and drink a lot of water. Came back and got to spend a half hour motionless on my back, on a hard table with my arms over my head while they took pictures and did a quick CT. Not pleasant given the state of my lower back, and it was a bit hard on my left shoulder too (the one I had surgery on a few months ago). Won’t know the results for two weeks, since that was the quickest the doctor’s office could get me back in. I’m seeing the doc tomorrow for a cortisone shot in my hip, but I don’t know if he’ll have seen the results by then. I’m not holding out much hope for the shot, since cortisone didn’t work on my shoulder or my back, but it’s a hoop that the insurance requires me to jump through.
On a high note, I had entered an e-mail contest from my radio station and I got notified late this afternoon that I won! The local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization is having a fund-raiser comedy show that a friend of mine is headlining. I really wanted to go see him, but tickets were $100 each and that is so not in the budget. I won a pair of them, so a friend and I are gonna paint the town red on Saturday night. Can’t wait!