Zuppa di Tacchino

(Turkey Soup - Variations)


1/4 Cup Olive Oil - Extra Virgin
5 Lbs. Bones from a turkey - [See Note Below]
1 Lg. Onion - red - diced
1 Lg. Onion - White - diced
2 Small Leeks: white and 3 inches of green - sliced horizontally into 1/8 inch slices
1 Cup Wine - white and dry
Q.B.   Salt and pepper
1 1/2 Cups Rice - Arborio for soup
1 Lg. Escarole - cut into large pieces
1/2 Cup Cheese - Teleme, Taleggio, or Fiore di Latte
Note: A carcass from a roasted turkey is best.  Next best are the bones from a boned turkey that still have meat on them.  When preparing this dish, we used the bones left from preparing the Stuffed, Rolled Turkey Breast recipe given elsewhere on this site.


Add the olive oil to a 12 quart soup pot,  then  add the turkey bones.  Saute the turkey, stirring occasionally until as much of it is browned as possible. This should take 5-8 minutes.  Add the onions and leeks, and continue to cook on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes.  Add the wine, and deglaze for about 3 minutes. Add  water to cover the turkey by at least 4 inches, and bring to a boil.   Lower the heat and simmer for 4-5 hours, skimming occasionally.

At the end of this time strain the soup through a colander.   When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and add it to the both.   Discard the bones once they are picked over.

The soup, with plenty of turkey meat is ready for the next step.

There are many variations of this soup.  One which we especially like is as follows:

Bring 2 quarts of the soup to a boil.  Add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice for soup.  Chop one head of escarole into very coarse pieces and add to the soup.  Simmer for 35 minutes.  Turn the heat to high and bring the soup back to a boil.   Beat an egg with a small amount of milk, about 2 tablespoons, and pour it into the soup while continuously stirring the soup.  Cook for  an additional 3 minutes.   Serve garnished with very thin slices of a soft cheese like teleme, taleggio or fiore di latte.  Alternatively, the soup can be garnished with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Small pasta such as ditali, ancini di pepe or stella can be used rather than the rice.  Beans such as cannellini or borlotti can also be used either instead of or  with the pasta.  

Other vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, parsnips or potatoes can be used rather than the pasta or rice. Leaf vegetables such as spinach,   Swiss chard, radicchio,  or the leaves from turnip greens or beets may be used rather than the escarole, although the beet greens may make the soup a bit pink.

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Last updated on:06/03/99 12:51:00 AM