Maine Dish: Turkey Soup for the Soul

In our family, we enjoy a very traditional Thanksgiving meal: roasted turkey with stuffing and gravy, boiled onions, peas, squash, mashed potatoes, oatmeal dinner rolls and cranberry relish.

To lighten the cooking load, my three siblings and I divide up the menu, with each family contributing to the feast.

Starting on Wednesday afternoon, the tribe begins to arrive … grandchildren from upstate New York, Boston, New Hampshire, even Seattle … making the trek back to Maine. Soon, my mother’s snug little house on Round-the-Pond Road in Norway is bustling with activity, pie-making, squash and potato peeling, dogs sniffing and spirited card games.

Early on Thursday morning I’ll prepare the stuffing with chopped onion, celery, apple, bread crumbs, herbs and spices, eggs, butter and milk. Our family operated a commercial turkey farm back in the ’60s, so my mother always procures a local Maine bird. With years of experience roasting hundreds of birds, she supervises, “Start with a hot oven, baste with the juices often, and don’t over cook.”

Our favorite part of the feast is the part we all get to take home. To ensure plenty of left-over meat for each family unit, our turkeys are large. Only once was the bird far too big to fit in the blue enamel roasting pan, weighing in at 36 pounds. The metal lid of a trash can be lined with foil saved that Thanksgiving Day.

Back home, we enjoy hot turkey sandwiches with stuffing and gravy, turkey enchiladas, and turkey pot pies. Curried Turkey Soup is an easy meal to fix, and will freeze well. Serve with a crusty bread and baked apples for dessert.

Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected].

Curried Turkey Soup

Makes 6 generous servings

1½ Tbsps. butter

2-3 tsps. curry powder (adjust according to taste)

1 cup onions, chopped

4 oz. (about 1 cup) mushrooms, chopped

4 cups turkey or chicken stock

1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ -inch cubes

1 cup carrots, cut into cubes

1 piece celery, chopped or ½ cup chopped celeraic

1 cup cooked turkey or chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a heavy soup pot on top of the stove, melt the butter and stir in the curry powder. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the turkey stock and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the sweet potato and carrots, simmering for 10 minutes. Then add the celery and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the turkey and lime juice and season to taste with salt and fresh pepper.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 140 calories, 12 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat (0 grams trans fat), 125 mg. Sodium, 2.5 grams fiber.

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Fenceviewer Staff

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