Infidelity Soup with Turkey and Winter Vegetables

     This will be even better the next day or the day after, so you can leave it in the fridge to comfort your mate if you’re feeling a little guilty about playing around out of town. If you don’t have a turkey on hand, use chicken bones or a ham bone, or even chicken stock.

     Carcass of a 10- to 12-lb. roasted turkey, broken into pieces
     1 large yellow onion, sliced
     3–4 celery ribs
     1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme or 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme
     1 bay leaf
     1 tsp. whole black peppercorns

     1 package of 16-bean mix, soaked overnight in cold water to cover
     2 cups reduced turkey stock
     4 cups cubed winter vegetables: carrots, turnip, parsnip, sweet potatoes, and red onion
     2 to 3 tbsp. chili powder, to taste
     Salt, to taste
     Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
     2 cups leftover turkey in largish bite-size cubes, preferably dark meat
     Optional: 1 cup ribbons of kale, cabbage, or romaine lettuce
     Optional: 1 cup cooked fusilli or penne
     1 or 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of good olive oil per bowl of soup

     To make the stock:

     Put turkey carcass, sliced onion, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a stockpot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming away and discarding any scum that floats to the top. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 60 minutes. Pour the stock through a fine strainer, discarding all the solids. Set aside 2 cups of this stock.

     Return the remaining stock (you will have about 10 cups) to a 4-quart saucepan and boil uncovered until the stock is reduced to 2 cups (about 45 minutes).

     To make the soup:

     Cook the beans in a one-and-a-half-gallon stockpot or as instructed on package (after prescribed soaking), using 2 cups of stock to replace 2 cups of the water.

     After 35 minutes, add the cubed winter vegetables and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover so the mix simmers. Add unreduced stock as necessary to maintain a rather thick texture of soup. Simmer for about 45 minutes.

     When the beans and vegetables are just barely tender, season the soup with chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste, add the cooked cubed turkey, and the optional kale, cabbage, or romaine lettuce. Stir occasionally so bottom doesn’t burn. Continue to cook until the greens are tender and the flavors have melded (about 15 minutes longer). Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

     Fifteen minutes before serving, bring soup to a gentle boil. You may need to add additional stock or water to keep a semblance of soup texture. Stir to prevent burning. Add a handful of cooked fusilli or penne (if you wish) and simmer till soup is hot. Taste again for seasoning, adding more salt and freshly ground pepper according to your taste.

     Serve each portion topped with freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of good olive oil.

     Serves 6 as a starter, 3 to 4 as a main course.

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