Saturday, October 5, 2013

Comfort Foods and Loving Letters

I love pretty much everything about Fall...the weather, the decor, being able to wear sweaters, the food
We will be hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year (it makes way more sense than what we normally do, which is prepare EVERYTHING at our house and then haul it over to my MIL's) and I've already planned the entire menu, appetizers to dessert.  I have a new tablecloth and napkins hanging out in my cart on Amazon.  I'm pinning Thanksgiving centerpieces like a madwoman on Pinterest.
Leftover Turkey Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Dumplings
Click on the picture to see the recipe at Allrecipes.com!
I'm going a little crazy, right?

I know.  I'm kind of ok with that, though.  :-)

Since I still have 54 more days until T-Day (but who's counting?), I'm taking full advantage of the Autumn weather until it gets here.  That's why I decided to make turkey soup with dumplings for my family last night.  What's better than warm soup on a Fall night, right?

Last month when I made Maple Basted Roast Turkey with Cranberry Pan Gravy as part of the Allstars Turkey Tuesday partnership with Butterball® I froze the carcass for later use.  I pulled it out of the freezer for this soup, and I'm so glad I did.  It added such wonderful flavor to our meal!  I did a lot of googling for just the right recipe to use it in and came up short.  I decided to go off the beaten path and wing it a little.

Colorful Kale and Spinach Salad
Click the picture to see the recipe on Allrecipes.com!
I started by putting the carcass in a large slow cooker and covering with liquid.  I added my veggies and seasonings and let it go on high for about eight hours.  Four hours in, I removed the carcass from the broth, removed all of the meat and returned it to the slow cooker, and threw away the bones.  I've tried recipes where dumpling batter is added to the slow cooker itself towards the end, and in my experience the broth just isn't hot enough to cook the dumplings to my liking.  I cooked them on the stove and then added them to the soup.  Perfection!  I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think!  I've included the recipe at the bottom and I've also typed it up at Allrecipes.com (just click on the picture).  It's a nice way to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or get the most out of a whole chicken.  I served it with a simple green salad that I'd been meaning to try for awhile called "Colorful Kale and Spinach Salad and Homemade Dressing."  We really enjoyed it, though next time I'll definitely be adding a wider variety of veggies.

As a side note, I just have to share the latest development at our house- I've mentioned before that my 2 year-old has a speech delay and some sensory issues.  We're working on it all, slowly but surely.  He's improved a lot, but he's still way behind speech-wise.  He has zero interest in labeling people or things, so it took us all by surprise when he suddenly knew his letters.

My son reading
My little bookworm!
He won't watch Sesame Street, and honestly we've been working through such basic concepts with him in therapy that we hadn't really done much of anything in the way of teaching letters or their sounds.

He taught himself.
Practically overnight, my child can excitedly name every letter of the alphabet and tell you what sound it makes.  :-) I just had to brag, because for us this is huge.  To have him pick up this concept and show this kind of interest is just...lol I could cry happy tears, really.  I have such a sweetheart of a kiddo, I call him my gentle giant...I'm so ridiculously proud of him!

Leftover Turkey Soup with Rosemary Parmesan Dumplings
For Soup:
1 turkey carcass
8 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp dill
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

For Dumplings:
1 C flour
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
3 Tbsp shortening
1/2 C milk, or as needed

  1. Place turkey carcass in large slow cooker and cover with broth, water, and lemon juice.  Add all remaining spices and veggies for soup.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours.  Four hours into cook time, remove carcass from soup, separate meat from bone, and return meat to slow cooker.  Discard bones.  
  3. 30 minutes before serving, boil broth or water in a saucepan on the stove.  In a bowl, combine flour, parmesan cheese, baking powder, and rosemary.  Cut in shortening.  Add enough milk to create a thick batter that pulls away from sides of bowl.
  4. Drop rounded spoonfuls of dumpling batter into boiling liquid.  Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  Add cooked dumplings to turkey soup and serve.


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