Old World Tuesday: Turkey- or Chicken-and-Rice Soup with Yogurt-and Egg Liaison

June 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

A perfect comfort dish for a cold, rainy day like today, this turkey soup is made different by the addition of yogurt-and-egg liaison and sour cream, which serve the dual purpose of thickening the soup and adding tang. In my opinion, chicken soup needs some sort of acid to avoid being bland – that’s just what I think. I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that I did not arrive at this wonderful improvement on the classic on my own – I followed a tip from my Bulgarian classmate, Maria, who went to the American University in Bulgaria with me and who I kept in touch with via Facebook.

Although mine is made with turkey, I made this soup with chicken many times before, but consider making it with a leftover turkey carcass the day after Thanksgiving, especially if you need to feed a crowd of relatives, guests, and deer hunters still hanging around at your house.

I always make my own chicken stock, and I think it tastes the best with the leftovers of a previously roasted chicken, or, in this case, turkey, but there’s no reason why you can’t substitute store-bought.

Bulgarian Chicken or Turkey Soup with Egg-and-Yogurt Liaison

To make stock:

  • leftover turkey or chicken carcass
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled or unpeeled (wash it if it’s not organic)
  • a few springs of parsley
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 T whole black peppercorns
  • enough water to cover the chicken by three or four inches

Place the carcass in cold water, along with whole ribs of celery, onion, and carrot. Set over high to medium-high heat, partially covered. Remove the scum that will collect at the surface just before the boiling point. Bring the stock to a simmer, and simmer at medium to medium-low heat, lid ajar, for 3-4 hours. Strain before using.

Note: I don’t usually degrease my stock before using, proceeding to make the soup right away, while the stock is still hot. I refuse to see the fat go to waste, and I think it has a lot of flavor.

To make the soup:

  • 4 qts (or so) chicken or turkey stock
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 ribs of celery, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, diced large
  • a handful of rice (or, if you have small hands, two)
  • 1 whole egg beaten with 1 to 1.5 C plain yogurt
  • 1/2 16-oz container of sour cream (=8 oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a dash of paprika
  • chopped parsley, dill, or chives, for garnish (I used chives for their oniony flavor)

Add rice to stock and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. Add potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. Simmer for 20 to 30 min, or until all the vegetables are very tender and the rice is fully cooked. Stir in eggs-and-yogurt mixture and sour cream. Heat but do not boil. Add nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir in your herb of choice (I guess that doesn’t really count as garnish).

Note: The soup will separate by the time you are going back to the pot for your second helping, but some brief stirring will make it smooth again. The rice will thicken the soup considerably the next day – feel free to add extra stock or even water to thin. Be prepared to add extra salt to compensate.

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