So here’s the thing. I EXCEL at baking. I was an awesome first-grader. I got extra stars for my ability to follow directions. Cooking is more of an Extrovert Sport. It is for those people who can go up to strangers and have conversations at parties. Those artsy people who are creative and like to make their own rules, or have no rules.

I am not that person. I like to work within a set of expectations and guidelines. However. I also do not like to spend money eating out in restaurants all the time and I want to eat healthy, yummy food. So I have been forced to learn how to cook, not just bake yummy fattening awesome cookies.

I love love love homemade chicken noodle soup. It is one of my favorite things to make (even if nearly every time I do, I immediately come down with a cold. It’s like I have a premonition that I’m )getting sick. Or it’s all psychological. Whatever.)  Sadly, sometimes it comes out AMAZING. And sometimes, bland. I don’t know why. I try to do it basically the same every time. Thus, my frustration with cooking. But this after-Christmas, I made a pot of turkey noodle soup whilst making some homemade stock from a turkey carcass and it. was. awesome. So I’m going to share my basic techniqe with you. Don’t you feel special? I make absolutely no promises about the results of your own soup. (or even my own if I tried this exact thing again, sigh.)

Turkey Noodle Soup (+Turkey Stock)

Ingredients:
Turkey carcass (obviously, cooked and carved. Not raw. No feathers please.)
2-3 onions, quartered 
2-4 large carrot, 1″ chunks
2-6 cloves garlic, chopped
4-5 sticks celery, 1″ chunks
Whole bunch of water, enough to submerge turkey carcass in stockpot
Spices (this is where measuring goes out the window)
Salt – probably about 3-4T?
Pepper – 2T?
Chili Powder – 1T?
just dash some oregano, sage, thyme, whatever you feel like in there too
2-3 bay leaves

Note: Instead of whole veggies, you can use peels & ends that you collect. I save all these odds and ends (may also include mushrooms, leeks, sweet potatoes) in a gallon ziplock in the freezer. When full I make a batch of veggie or chicken broth. I used a bag of frozen “scraps” to make my turkey stock and added in one more onion and 2 sticks celery and 2 carrots this time.

Directions:

-Put turkey carcass, frozen or fresh veggies into large stockpot (whatever size it fits in) and fill with water until turkey is covered. Toss in spices. Heat on high until boiling, then cover and simmer on low however long you wish. I simmered this bath for about 24 hours.
-Strain turkey and veggies from the broth. I ladled out the big pieces and then poured the rest of the broth through my colander.
-Put pot of broth into the fridge at least 12 hours so that fat congeals on the top. Scoop off fat and warm enough to liquify the broth again.
-Pull out and shred any remaining turkey from the carcass. Save turkey in fridge for soup/etc. Throw away other veggies. Or pick out large garlic/onion chunks and feed to rest to the dog.
-If making soup: separate out as much broth as you want for the soup.
-To make stock: Whatever amount of broth you want to make stock out of: heat in appropriate sized pot to boiling, then turn to medium or medium-low and simmer until reduced by at least 1/2 to 2/3.  Cool, then ladle into jars to freeze or can. Alternatively, spray muffin pans with oil and ladle into muffin pans, freeze, and then store frozen “cubes” in a gallon ziploc to thaw and use in recipes requiring smaller amounts of stock.

Turkey Noodle Soup

*There are very few measurements here. Thus the reason I get such varying results, I’m sure. Sigh*
I use a double boiler pot and eyeball amounts to make a full pot.

Ingredients
6-8c. broth
2-4 carrots, chopped/sliced
2-4 sticks celery, chopped thin
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Turkey – 1lb? 2c.
Noodles – 1/2-1c. uncooked?
Salt, pepper, chili powder, sugar, oregano, etc to taste – hmmm

Directions
-Pour broth into pot until 2/3 full.
-Add veggies and spices (add turkey/chicken also if raw)
-Cook over medium about 20min
-Add turkey/chicken if had been precooked. If not, pull out now-cooked meat, shred it, and add back in.
-Cook another 20 min
-Add uncooked noodles
-Cook another 20 min over medium

Add additional seasonings to taste, cross your fingers, and enjoy!

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