Thursday, January 24, 2013
Many moons ago when I worked at Town Hall, co-worker Lucy Dreyer,
a town planner, used to make my mouth water telling me about the delicious
soups her husband Frank made. When I saw her again recently, I made sure to
arrange to get his favorite concoctions.
Frank tells me he took up soup making shortly after he and Lucy
married and began hosting family dinners and then were left with the question
of what to do with the hambone or turkey carcass. “I began to experiment
and that’s how it got started.” I talked to Lucy later and she quipped that that
“ it really all got started because he couldn’t bear to throw those leftovers away.
But that was fine once I found out just how good he was.”
Frank says he doesn’t cook as such but he likes soups because he didn’t
want to take on anything too difficult to do or too easy to ruin. Most
interesting: he cooks his soups from scratch and most of them at the same
time. His favorite marathon periods are over the Christmas holidays when he
has some time off from work. New Year’s Day is particularly good as he can
watch bowl games while he simmers three or four huge kettles on the stove.
“And it’s got to be cold weather,” he says “so I can take them out to the
screened-in porch to cool.” After that, he freezes most of the soups in quart
containers to be used throughout the year for quick dinners.
The Dreyers have been in Summerville for 24 years, coming from
Wisconsin via New Jersey and settling in Flowertown for a job opportunity.
Frank is an architect, specializing in schools. They have two grown children,
Matthew and Abby. Matthew and his wife Brandy have a son, Trey.
Frank cooks his five staple recipes each year. They include Turkey Vegetable
Noodle, which is the hands down family favorite; Vegetable Beef or Oxtail,
which he and Lucy like; Chicken, Abby’s choice; and Navy Bean and Split Pea,
the ones he savors.
I’ve chosen to share Frank’s turkey soup today as many of us probably
have turkey leavings still in the freezer.
TURKEY VEGETABLE NOODLE SOUP
(8 to 10 lb. turkey carcass or whole breast – dbl. ingredients for large turkey)
2 quarts water 3 tsp. salt or to taste
1 quart chicken broth ½ tsp. pepper or to taste
1 large onion (diced) 4 tbsp. parsley (dried)
1 carcass (break-up) ½ tsp. basil (dried)
3 large carrots (sliced) ¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
3 celery stalks (sliced) 1- 15 oz. can tomatoes (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (diced) 1 cup tomato or V-8 Juice
1 green pepper (chopped) 1 sm can Rotel tomatoes
3 bay leaves chicken bouillon to taste
16 oz. egg noodles ¼ tsp ea. thyme, tarragon, sage,
Other seasonings to taste
Simmer carcass in liquid two hours, let cool. Skim fat. Remove bones
and cut meat to bite size. Adjust water to make two quarts. Add chicken
broth. Return meat to liquid and bring to boil. Add vegetables and seasonings
Simmer for one hour. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary .Add noodles
and simmer 15 minutes and serve or freeze.
Note: Frank says that sautéing onion, garlic and celery first heightens
flavor. Crockpots can be used with ingredient adjustments for pot size. I
particularly like his idea of adding Rotel tomatoes for a spicy taste, as well as
the additional option of putting in leftover dressing.
His other recipes sound just as delicious – and you will see them in the
future. Bon Appetit!