Turkey Paprikash Soup

There are three essential components of this recipe that if you have to substitute, your result will be either different, messier to clean up, or both.  They are:

Homemade Turkey Stock (See Recipe below)

High-quality smoked paprika, both hot and sweet

Inversion/Hand Held Blender (you can use your standing blender or a food –processor, but it’s time consuming and messy.

The Soup:

2 strips hickory smoked bacon, diced
1 stick unsalted butter
2 sweet yellow onions
4-6 stalks celery
2-4 large carrots
4-6 cloves garlic
2 tps sweet smoked paprika
2 tps hot smoked paprika
6-8 cups homemade turkey stock (See Recipe Below)
1-2 tsp hickory smoke flavor (if you can’t find smoked turkey parts)
1 cup sour cream
½ 10 lb Turkey Breast, trimmed and shredded (more if you like a meatier soup). 

  • Finely chop all of vegetables and garlic.  In a 6-8 quart dutch oven, sauté the bacon until it is fully rendered, the remove from the pan and set asidse.
  • Add the butter to the pan and when it begins to foam, add the garlic, the onions and the celery.  Saute until they just starting to brown. 
  • Add the carrots and sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add about 1 tps salt and ½ pepper, stir and allow to sauté another 1 minute.
  •  Add the paprika over the vegetables and sauté 1 minute, being careful not to burn the paprika, then immediately add about 2 cups of the stock.
  • Bring to a boil until the carrots are cooked through.  Test a piece of carrot to make sure it is soft enough to puree.
  • Turn off the heat and run the inversion blender in the pan until all of the vegetables are pureed.  You should have a thick base.  Add 2-4 more cups of stock and stir.  Your base should still be a very thick consistency.   If you are not sure, only add 2 cups of stock at this stage. 
  • At this stage, I sometimes remove some of the base, if I don‘t think I have enough turkey for it, freeze it.  If I have some leftover turkey, I just thaw it, then add the sour cream and shredded turkey, and I have soup.
  • Add the sour cream, and bring to a low boil, until the base reduces slightly.  Add the turkey, then adjust the amount of liquid, either stock or sour cream, to get the hearty soup mix you want.   
  • Serve with a small dollop of sour cream and some crumbled bacon on top.  A bit of greenery won’t hurt either.

Turkey Stock

I make turkey stock a week or so in advance of Thanksgiving, and freeze it in separate containers for the Thanksgiving gravy and dressing, and then the soup gets made after Thanksgiving.  Well worth the effort, both for your dinner, and for leftovers, like this soup.  If you can’t find already smoked turkey parts, just buy raw turkey legs and wings, and roast them in the oven until they are very brown.  You are not going to eat the meat, so don’t worry about them being overdone.

2-4 pieces smoked Turkey parts (wings, drumstick, neck or back)
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
2-3 Bay Leaves

Put all of the ingredients in a 8-10 quart stock pot, fill with spring or filtered water (if your tap water is not what you would normally drink), to cover.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 2 hours.  Strain out all of the solids and discard them.  Chill the stock overnight, skim off the fat, and freeze.  You will need approximately 2 cups for the dressing, 1-2 cups for the gravy, and the remaining stock is for the soup, approximately 5-8 cups.

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