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Get Smart . . . Eat More Dry Beans
November 23, 2005

At my house, making homemade soup is an afternoon project, so it seemed like a good name for this soup.  The result of this easy, inexpensive project is a great homemade soup and several meals.

This time, I had attended an event where they roasted several small turkeys on Weber grills.  They had all those smoked turkey carcasses left and no one seemed to want to take anything but the trimmed off meat.  I took four of them, froze them in 2-gallon bags and was rewarded with two batches of wonderful soup.  It is amazing how much meat is left on the bones even when sharp knives have carved "all the good meat off."  I could have also made the broth  or soup right away.  Vary the schedule to fit your needs.

Many people think they need a recipe for making soup.  My mother made many of her soups with leftovers and taught me to do the same.  I would like to pass that ability and confidence on to my cooking "audience." 

Start with leftover roasted meat.  The bones, skin and brown bits from the pan should be saved and used, also, since they contribute flavor to the broth.

Put all of that in a big pot.  Cover with water and simmer for an hour or two.  Use any dry bean, but be aware that if you choose blacks, they will make the broth look muddy.  Peel, cut up and add any vegetables you have available.  Add the spices and herbs your family prefers.  I always use thyme with turkey or chicken because I like the sage-y flavor it adds.  You may want to use poultry seasoning instead.  Morton Sausage and Poultry Seasoning is my favorite.  It is quite salty and stays fresher in the freezer.   Simmer.  If the broth is watery and needs a flavor boost, add some soup concentrate or canned broth.  (They are usually very salty, so you may want to leave out any other salt in the recipe.)  Add rice or barley if you want another ingredient.

Serve hot homemade soup. Delicious!  And the leftovers are better the second day!   


Afternoon Bean and Turkey Soup


1 or 2 turkey carcasses

½ cup dry light red kidney beans

½ cup small red beans

2 small or l large onion, chopped

1 - 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots

¼  green or sweet red pepper

4 stalks of celery and heart, including

    any leaves that are fresh and green.

1 - ½ teaspoons dry thyme

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon season salt

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon dry parsley or ½ cup fresh

½ cup brown rice or whole grain



1 p.m. -- Put 1 or 2 turkey carcasses in a large stockpot.  Cover with water.  Simmer for 1 - 2 hours. 

3 p.m. -- Sort and rinse beans.  Add beans to the pot.  Simmer.

4 p.m. -- Remove turkey from the pot to a platter.  Cool.  Add vegetables, herbs and spices.  Simmer.  Pull bones apart and remove meat and skin.  Cut meat into small pieces.  Stir the mixture to check for bones and gristle.  Remove and discard all bones and gristle.  Return meat to pot. 

5 p.m. -- Rinse brown rice in a sieve and add to the soup.  Simmer.   

6 p.m. -- Serve with crackers or whole wheat bread, glass of milk and fruit dessert. 


Refrigerate or freeze and label any leftovers for future use.


If you need to start later, combine steps.  Two hours is the minimum cooking time to make a good broth, cook the meat off the bones and tenderize the beans.  Brown rice needs 45 minutes to cook.  Add or substitute the vegetables and seasoning your family prefers or you have available.

4 p.m. -- Put everything but the rice in the pot.  Use high heat, stir and tend the pot until it simmers.  It will take 20 to 30 minutes.  Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.

5 p.m. -- Add the brown rice.  5:45 p.m. remove the carcass.  Return the meat to the soup and serve.

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