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Grandma's Turkey Soup

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Why I Love This Recipe

Serve this great soup with great bread! In our house, we have freshly baked Sourdough Bread with a good, thick crust. Our tradition is to have a supper of Turkey Soup, Bread and a Green Salad while we decorate the house for Christmas the weekend right after Thanksgiving!

Ingredients You'll Need

Turkey Carcass
12 Cups Chicken Stock
Kosher Salt
pinch of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 TBL Granulated Garlic Powder
TBL Crushed, Dried Thyme
tsp. of Ground Red Pepper Flakes
6 big Onions ( Diced)
12 Stalks of Celery (Diced)
olive oil and butter
Salt and Pepper
4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
1 Cup Raw Pearl Barley


Cover a Turkey Carcass with lots of meat still left on, that has been broken up, with 12 Cups Chicken Stock and the rest water. Make sure the liquid is about ½ to one inch above the bones in a LARGE pot.

Sprinkle a big pinch of Kosher Salt and pinch of Freshly Ground Black Pepper over all. Sprinkle 1 TBL Granulated Garlic Powder over that, along with a TBL Crushed, Dried Thyme. Sprinkle about a tsp. of Ground Red Pepper Flakes over all. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours.

Let cool until you can put your hands in comfortably. Wash your hands and with a Big Bowl nearby, put your hands in the soup and take all the meat off the bones and put the bones in the bowl. Keep feeling around and get out all the bones out. Cut any large chunks of turkey into bite-sized pieces and put back into the soup.

Now some of you may want to just have a big bowl and a big strainer to do this part, but sticking your hands in the soup and doing the bone removal was something I will always remember that I did with my Grandma. By the way, if you found a bone in your soup while eating it, you were paid a nickel by the cook! That was the fun part, hoping to find a bone in the soup. When my Grandma was the cook, we never did.

After all the bones are removed and the meat has been cut or torn into bite-sized pieces, cover the soup and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning you will find a big layer of fat. Take it all off with a big spoon and throw it away.

In a big skillet, caramelize about 6 big Onions ( Diced) and about 12 Stalks of Celery (Diced) in some olive oil and butter. Saute them, stirring often, until they are slightly browned. While cooking them, sprinkle some Salt and Pepper over the top.

When they are nicely browned, add 4 Cloves of Minced Garlic. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes and then put this mixture into the soup pot. Stir the pot and bring it up to a slow simmer.

Be sure to taste the soup now in case you need to add more salt.

Add 1 Cup Raw Pearl Barley and simmer the soup for at least one hour.

My Grandma never added Carrots, but you certainly could.

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