Friday, January 29, 2010

My amazing Turkey Soup adventure!!! :)

I enjoyed and was challenged by Hippie's post this week. I don't have any hard and fast "food rules" in my house... yet. I think one really strong place to start is 1 Corinthians 10:31:

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Wow. Think with me for a moment. Let's say that the average American lives to be 78. And from the time we're 3, let's just say we eat roughly 3 meals a day (though we all know it is usually much more than that!). By my very rough calculations (and not counting our baby sustenance): 76 years * 365 days per year * 3 meals per day = roughly 85,410 opportunities to glorify God through eating. As His child, what great joy do I have than to seize each and every opportunity to bring Him glory!

But I digress. Sort of. The point is this: I pray that this will be a year when I really start praying, focusing, and bringing God glory through the countless meals I prepare and consume. What about you?

Sorry for the long post today, but I had a triumph in the kitchen today which I just had to share. A homemade turkey soup, very low in oxalates, and perfect for a snowy/sleety day here in Memphis. And a triumph for me mainly because I didn't use a recipe! So it's all my own. It makes me smile.

Smiling with my pot of soup, the snowy scene behind me!

Here is a rough idea of my what I did and why. Skip it if you want-- At the bottom I will post a more concise recipe.

I cooked 1.5 cups of white rice in a large pot using chicken broth and water, according to package directions. White rice is not optimal, so if you do not have to consider oxalates, use brown! In the future I will most likely opt for barley which is one of the only whole grains that is also low in oxalates.

Meanwhile I chopped whichever aromatic veggies I wanted to use/happened to have. I used parsnips, onions, and carrots. The onion I basically diced, the carrots were baby carrots I just cut in half lengthwise, and the parsnips I cut in in little rings. If you don't already know, Parsnips look like fat white carrots. I chose them for a few reasons: 1) I had them leftover from another recipe. 2) They resemble carrots in shape and texture but add a different flavor. 3) As celery is not permitted on a low-oxalate diet, parsnips added a nice different flavor that is lacking without the celery.

While the rice was still cooking, I melted some butter with olive oil in a pan and started the veggies just to soften them a bit and give them flavor. I added about 2 cloves of minced garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. When the rice was almost done cooking, I added the veggies and filled the pot with more chicken broth. I had to use store-bough broth this time but definitely intend to use homemade as much as possible in the future.

For seasoning I added: rosemary, 1 bay leaf, some pepper, and I think that was it! No salt was really necessary as the broth and other stuff was already salted.

Finally, I added the package of turkey that I had frozen from the Thanksgiving leftovers. It was still pretty frozen in a block, but I just turned up the soup and let it defrost in the broth. I let it simmer while we played outside in the snow (!!!) and it was ready when we came in from the cold!

AHHH! What joy this little child brings us! And Daddy was home for a snow day, per his boss's suggestion. We enjoyed the snow.

Okay, back to the recipe. Things I love about this recipe:
1. I made it up.
2. I didn't have to buy anything extra: this was literally all leftover stuff or pantry staples.
3. It was delicious and perfect for snowy weather.
4. It was perfectly low in oxalates.

Things I would alter about this recipe:
1. Homemade broth instead of store bought.
2. Barley instead of white rice.
3. Organic items as available/affordable.

I have to say that I felt very nourished after this meal, and very accomplished for throwing it all together. The nice thing is that it is so simple, not at all overwhelming, and so incredibly satisfying!

So here is a more concise recipe (what I can come up with from what I did):

1-2 lbs of leftover turkey or chicken
1.5 cups rice, barley, or other grain cooked with broth and chicken
Carrots, baby, cut in half lengthwise
Parsnips, chopped
1 Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chicken or turkey broth, enough to fill your biggest pot
Rosemary to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Bay leaf

Cook the rice or grain according to package directions using broth and water. Use your soup pot to save dishes! Meanwhile, prepare veggies (wash and cut). Saute veggies in frying pan with butter and olive oil on medium-high for a couple of minutes while the rice finishes up. When rice is cooked, add all the veggies directly to your soup pot. Add your meat and enough broth to fill up the pot. Sprinkle some rosemary (about a teaspoon of dried?), add bay leaf, and pepper to taste. Cook on medium-high until veggies are soft, then turn on low to simmer until you are ready to eat it!

Lastly, ENJOY!!!! And may it all be for the Lord's Great Glory!

Warm blessings,

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