Today I went to the fridge to find some lunch, and lucky me...there was a freezer container of homemade Turkey Sage Chowder. The Husband obviously brought this container in from the cook-a-rama stash in the big freezer. Yippie, I forgot to eat breakfast so I'm really hungry. I popped a bowl of this hearty soup into the microwave, plunked down on the couch to watch the noon news and BING...an alarm went off in my head. I remembered that I had told a friend of a friend that I would give her this recipe to try at her restaurant in Friday Harbor. That was only seven weeks ago...okay...I'm a little embarassed...but what the heck, at least the snippet of memory surfaced. These days a lot of things seem to get lost in the deep dark recesses of my brain never to be seen again.
I made this right after Thanksgiving when there was a whole lot of leftover turkey. It's great served with a spinach salad that has a sweet dressing and maybe some sliced oranges.
Here we go:
Turkey Sage Chowder
4 bacon slices, coarsley chopped
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound red potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces...I leave the peels on
2 cups whole milk, sometimes I use cream..I'm a dairy farmer...don't go there
1 cup chicken broth, the original recipe called for low salt broth...I think it tastes metallic
so I use regular organic broth from Trader Joes
6 Tablespoons real butter...DAIRY FARMER!
6 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage, I have it in my garden...you could use dried
2 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey
Cook the bacon in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. I love my 8 quart Belgique pan, it's perfect for soups like this. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Don't clean that pan! Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes, remove the onions from the pan and set them aside.
Melt the 6T of butter in this pan 'til it's bubbly, but don't let it burn. Immediately add the 6T of flour, with your heat at medium take a big baloon whisk and get busy whisking
...for at least five minutes until that butter/ flour mixture starts to smell wicked-good and turns a pretty golden color. This is called a roux, I taught my sister how to make a roux and once she did it she told me that she thought that this stuff could make any soup yummy.
Make sure you don't take a shortcut on the roux, the combination of heat/butter needs time to change the chemical make-up of the flour....you don't want your chowder
to taste like flour paste, what a waste! Uh...trust me...I've done it and it was a sad day.
Okay...on with the show. It's time to add the milk but don't do it all at once, add it in a slow stream while whisking, if you've never done this don't be freaked. The first splash of milk will sizzle and your roux will look like paste...just keep whisking and adding and whisking and adding. Your soup will be yumy and creamy if you do it slowly...you don't want lumpy gumpy soup do you?
Mix in the potatoes, broth, and 1 Tablespoon of sage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally....about 10 minutes. I watch the soup really closely to make sure it doesn't scorch...that would be such a huuuge bummer, I use my whisk for this but I'm a whisk girl...love that whisk. Add the turkey meat, bacon and remaining 1 Tablespoon sage. Simmer until heated through, stirring (not scorching) for about
4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
The original recipe is from Bon Appetit, I've made some minor changes to suit my taste.
I make a double batch of this soup and freeze it...nothing makes me happy like a whole bunch of delicious homemade soups in the freezer, especially when it's cold and snowy outside.