“Second Blessing” Soups

This post is my contribution for holiday break at Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday. Check it out here, add a post of your own, and then come back in the New Year when we pick up with alphabet postings related to the letter “G”.

I love soup…any flavor, any time…but my absolute favorites are those made from the leavings of a family meal. First you enjoy time around the table with loved ones and then, later, the aroma of a rich, flavorful soup reminds you of a special family gathering…hence, second blessing.

For us this usually means either turkey or bone-in ham. The turkey frame or ham bone are simmered with liquid, seasonings, and other ingredients for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The long cooking time loosens any leftover meat from the bones and transfers flavor from the bones to the broth. Once done, strain the broth (turkey soup only) and remove meat from the bones (you will be surprised by how much there is!). Add meat and any remaining ingredients to the broth and cook as directed. Serve alone or with salad or sandwich. You will be glad you did!

Turkey Frame Soup
Bones and trimmings from 1 turkey or 2 chickens
6 cups water
3 cubes or teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage
1 bay leaf
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced or chopped
½ cup barley or rice or 1 cup noodles
2 tablespoons minced parsley

In a large saucepan, combine turkey bones (if necessary, break into smaller pieces) and trimmings with water. Add bouillon, salt, poultry seasoning, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer 1 ½ hours. Remove bones and strain broth. Cut any meat from the bones and return to broth. Add remaining ingredients except parsley to broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes (perhaps longer with barley) until vegetables and barley are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.

Navy Bean Soup
1 pound navy beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 large smoked ham hocks
8 cups of water
2 medium carrots, finely diced
Salt and Pepper

Place the beans in a pot and cover with water. Let them sit overnight. OR, if you have less time, bring the beans to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit in the hot water for an hour. Then drain and continue with recipe.

In a soup pot, melt butter. Add onion and garlic cooking about 3 minutes. Add drained beans, 8 cups of water, ham hocks, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook about 1 hour. Add the carrots and cook another half an hour to an hour. The ham hocks should be so tender that the meat will fall off the bone. Keep cooking until this is the case.

Remove ham hocks and cut meat off the bone. Remove excess fat and chop up the meat into small bites before returning the meat to the soup. Remove the bay leaves.

Either use an immersion blender and pulse for a minute or so to puree some of the beans OR remove about 3 cups of soup to a blender and puree and then return to the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve.

2 thoughts on ““Second Blessing” Soups

  1. A few years ago I made split pea soup using the bone from a spiral-cut ham that had been glazed. The hints of sweetness and clove that lingered from the glaze really added something magical to that soup. It was the best I ever made! I’ll be trying to duplicate it this weekend.

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