The Great Turkey Challenge, Day Two: Turkey, Mushroom & Lentil Soup

Today is the second day of The Great Turkey Challenge. It’s also getting cooler outside, which means it’s time for soup. I like soup in any weather, really, so I think that even it were ninety degrees outside today, I’d still find some reason for soup. There is just something inexplicably comforting about  it, no matter the content. Soup is also a great way to utilize leftovers and vegetables that aren’t in their prime, if you know what I mean.

I scanned the Internet for some recipes and found a few that picked my curiosity. This one, however was different in some ways, one of which would be the addition of lentils. I like lentils a lot, and typically you can find at least two varieties of lentils in my pantry. But this recipe also had my all-time favorite soup ingredient – mushrooms, and I did happen to have those in my fridge as well. I was sold.

Cast of characters for my soup

When I see pictures like this one, I think of orchestra tune up before the recital starts

I did make a few modifications to it, however. I felt that blandness of the turkey breast meat had to be offset by something slightly more flavorful than water. I added home made chicken broth – found one last batch of it in the freezer. I also added a potato to thicken the soup.

Oh, it's steamy in a pot. Something good is cooking.

Couple of notes I’d like to make. First, I felt that adding turkey in the end  made the soup look and feel messy texture-wise. The flavor and color were good. I’d probably add some wine instead of soy sauce next time. Instead of turkey, I will use cubed ham. Another variation of this may taste better – bacon bits. I think if you render bacon bits instead of cooking oil and then saute onions and mushrooms in the fat, maybe partially removed, and then add the bits back to the soup, it would taste great. Definitely need to use stock. Said all that, I’d give this batch a “would make again with an asterisk” rating.

It's gradually beginning to look like soup

Scallions

Here is What and How for this batch, with all the modifications I made:

Turkey, Mushroom & Lentil Soup

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups chicken,vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 2 cups of cooked turkey meat, cubed
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • finely chopped chives or scallions for garnish

Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent, don’t brown.

Toss in mushrooms and thyme, saute for a few minutes until wilted. Add soy sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes until soy sauce evaporates.

Add a little bit of stock at first, deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining stock, bring to a boil.

Add lentils and bay leaf, stir once, reduce heat, partially cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add potato cubes, salt and pepper and cook until potatoes are soft.

Five minutes or so before potatoes are done, add turkey and parsley.

Serve, garnished with scallion or chopped parsley.

Oh, what a gorgeous plate

Turkey is gradually disappearing!

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Categories: Challenge, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Courses, Scavenger Hunt, Soups

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

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  1. The Great Turkey Challenge | Eat Already! - January 11, 2012

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