Secret Ingredient for Turkey Soup

Turkey Soup with Ancini de Pepe Pasta
Notice the stray tarragon leaf that escaped
from the bundle of herbs.

A few years ago I hit upon the idea to add some depth to historically bland day-after-Thanksgiving turkey soup. A generous dose of Spanish sherry added a nice undertone.

This year there was no sherry in the house, so Marsala wine was used. Terrific. It's worth going so far as to now call either of these a secret ingredient.

Here's a link to the original recipe:  Leftover Turkey Soup.

These are some of the other choices / techniques which helped make this year's version a success:

  • Use chopped fresh fennel in addition to onion, celery and carrots.
  • All my rich stock was used up on Thanksgiving day, so this stock was make simply from simmering the turkey carcass for a few hours, then adding onion, celery and carrot for the last hour. Strain and reserve just the liquid.  
  • About 2/3 cup of Marsala - more than original recipe calls for. 
  • Ancini de pepe pasta - little balls the same size as peppercorns. Cook separately, and under cook by about two minutes from the suggested cooking time - about 6 minutes total for mine. 
  • A bouquet garni of fresh tarragon and thyme - removed before serving. 

A bouquet garni is simply a small bundle of herbs, tied together with kitchen twine, which allows one to remove the herbs easily. If dried spices or seeds are used, the ingredients can be put into small cheesecloth bags made especially for this purpose. 


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