Last Thursday night, one of the guys told me that I made the best soup in the U.S. I told him that I wouldn’t know, because I haven’t gotten around that much to sample soup. He assured me that he had and that mine was the best in the U.S. With humble pride, I will accept his assessment.
Now you probably want a recipe. Well, I can’t remember that far back, but maybe I can give you the recipe for the soup I made on Tuesday. I started at 7AM. I placed a seventeen pound turkey into a large roasting pan and filled the pan up with water. I placed the lid on and roasted it at 350 degrees for almost four hours. (It was in a semi-frozen state when I started, and I don’t just mean the state of Pennsylvania.) I drained the broth from the roaster pan into my 22 quart double boiler set up and let the turkey cool for a bit. While that was cooling, I added a handful of Greek oregano into the broth, and chopped and added vegetables to the pot. I kept the water in the outer pan pretty high and the heat on the burner set to high. I added one pound of carrots, about a half a celery root, about three pounds of russet potatoes (leaving the skins on), six eight inch tall stalks of broccoli, one large head of cauliflower, four entire leeks, three large, red, sweet peppers, a big bunch of cilantro (stems and all), a baby bok choi and a yucca root (peeled). By then the turkey had cooled sufficiently that I could start tearing it off the bones and throwing into the pot, which I did.
The yucca root was an impulse buy. It was sitting all lonely in the middle of a table of greens at Produce Junction, with no label or price. I snatched it and took it to the check out. I asked the girl what it was. She told me it was a yucca root. I asked if yucca root was any good. She said she didn’t know. I asked how much they cost. She said $1.75 for two. I said, you only have one. She said $1 then. So I Googled yucca root. It turns out it is also called manioc and is the source of tapioca. It can be toxic unless the waxy skin is removed and it is cooked thoroughly. They are a good source of vitamins C, B & A, and phosphorus, potassium and iron. They are a natural anti-inflammatory and promote colon health.
I let the soup cook for several more hours. I added a couple of quarts of boiling water. I then added about three tablespoons of granulated garlic, about a tablespoon of parsley flakes, two tablespoons of ground sage, three tablespoons of salt and twenty-one twists at medium grind of mixed peppercorns from the grinder. The pot was full to the top.
When it was time to leave for Philadelphia, I dumped the soup into the Igloo cooler and loaded into the back of the TKJ-mobile. It was piping hot, when we served it an hour and a half later. The guys told me that it was “all that!” I think that means that it was bumpin’.