Hearty Homemade Soup
Few things embody the meaning of "comfort food" as well as a homemade soup. From the time you start cooking the veggies until you ladle the final product into serving bowls, your kitchen will embark on an aromatic journey that warms your entire house. And the best part about making homemade soups? Their flavors develop over time, so they are perfect for leftovers. We love to use turkey in this soup, but any roasted poultry or pork meat you have in your refrigerator will work perfectly here.
Secret Weapon: Homemade Broth
We cannot stress enough the importance of using homemade broth. Not only will your dishes taste better, but you'll be feeding yourself and your family a host of vitamins and minerals that are key in maintaining good health. For more information on the benefits of making your own broths, please see our xxBone Broth pagexx.
Building Blocks of Tasty Soup
Along with homemade broth, this soup uses two traditional French soup flavor profiles. This soup has a mirepoix ("meer-PWAH") base, which is a mix of onion, celery, and carrots. Our favorite ratio of the three ingredients is around the 2:1:1 for the total amount of chopped onions:celery:carrots. We encourage you to play with that ratio to suit your tastes.
The other French-inspired set of ingredients in this soup: a bouquet garni, which is a tied bundle of aromatic fresh herbs used for flavoring stocks, stews, and casseroles. This recipe uses the classic bouquet garni combination of fresh thyme and parsley. So, channel your inner French chef and tie up the fresh herbs. You'll save yourself time and headache because you won't need to do any stemming or chopping for prep, plus you won't need to fish around for any sprigs or stems. More flavor, less hassle.
A note on herbs: We use fresh herbs in almost all cases, which far outshine the flavor any dried herbs can impart. The exceptions to this rule are bay leaves and oregano, which can be rather strong in their fresh forms; dried versions are more mellow and earthy.
...And the Meat!
As mentioned above, we love to use meat leftover from roasts for this soup. We have a few reasons for using leftover roasts: they're jam-packed with flavor because we dry brine our meats before roasting, then slow cook them to juicy perfection (see our roast recipes); when we make a roast, we make enough to have a good deal of leftovers; also, cooled leftover roast meat is much easier to pull/shred as opposed to the fresh-out-of-the-oven roasts, which are too hot to handle. So, we're saving time, preventing spoilage, and ensuring the soup will have the highest quality ingredients, all from using leftover roast.
If, however, you've already eaten your way through all of your roast leftovers, never fear! In this case, it's perfectly fine to make a quick roast substitute: roasted turkey legs and wings. Preheat your oven to 425. Toss 2 legs and 2 wings (or 4 legs, or 4 wings) in butter or lard, then set the pieces on a metal rack set inside a baking sheet. This ensures crisped skin on all sides. Season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and cook at 425 for about an hour. Let cool before shredding.