Tonight, I finish making the soup from this morning. The temperature has dropped here notably...hot soup seems the inevitable call for our dinner.
I have rendered the carcass plus some aromatics and salt and pepper into a rich broth. I reserve and pick meat from the bones into a seperate bowl. From our freezer, I take out fresh frozen and local sweet corn, Brussel Sprouts, string beans and chopped Chard stalks- all of our harvests from the summer. From our storage pantry I pull a handfull of plump potatoes and two cured yellow onions and from the garden, two long stout carrots. All are chopped and diced and then added to a few tablespoonfulls of hot oil in a french enameled pot. After a brief sautee, I add the turkey broth and then cook until the potatoes are tender. I toss in the juicy turkey meat and cook until heated through.
How do we serve it? This is Erin's touch: a puffy white and steaming island of rice in molded in a big bowl and the soup is ladeled in around it...and what a meal it is!
But I am always perfecting and trying to accompish that state from what is available fresh from our plots. A couple of days ago I bring in two harvest baskets of cherry bomb peppers, a varietal that grows well in our cool summers and as the name suggests, these peppers release a powerful combination of heat and sweetness. I decide that a good hot sauce will liven up this turkey soup in just the right way.
If you have never made a homemade hot sauce, if you are one of those people who spends tons of money of "rare" and interesting sauces with cool names and labels- and you think you really know what a good sauce tastes like...guess again. Here is my advice. Head to your local farmers marlet and pick up a bag or two of their best "in season" hot peppers and make your own. Here is how we do it at the farm:
Take a bunch of nice fresh chilies and rince and slice; we grow jalepeno and Cherry Bomb- so I use those. Add them to a medium saucepan along with some minced garlic, chopped onion, a bay leaf and just enough vinegar to cover. Bring to a slow simmer and then cook covered for about 20 minutes, or until the chillies are tender. Add salt and then honey or sugar, or even fresh fruit (like a few hunks of melon) and cook for a few minutes longer. Using a food processor, blend the mixture and then correct seasonings. Let cool and then place in a canning jar and refridgerate and enjoy. Note: it can be frozen!
A few swirls in our fresh turkey soup tonight makes stars fly. Erin eyes me from where she sits. Reluctantly, she slides over her bowl of soup and I mix a few drops of "Bomb Sauce" in for her. She is ready to get the baby out and spice is reputably the best medicine. We'll see.
For the rest of this meal? A hot, crispy loaf of artisanal bread; a leafy green salad with fresh sliced figs, cured olives and red onion and of course a pile of our best, ripe heirloom 'maters, sliced and drizzled with good oil and vinegar.
Wish you could have been there :)