Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Harvest Soup

I saw a recipe for chicken-apple stew online and wanted to make it. A few additions, and it became a harvest-themed crock pot stew that was quick to throw together and the most seasonal meal you'll eat outside of Thanksgiving. This is Thanksgiving in a crock pot.

Here are the base ingredients.

Everything will need to be chopped up. I peeled anything that needed peeling.

Naked fruits and vegetables!!

Here's everything chopped up and ready to go in the crock pot. It's apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and cranberries. It's a pretty rainbow.

And remember this?

It's my Dried Sweet Corn!

If you didn't make any dried corn, you can add fresh, frozen, or canned corn. Just add it near the end of its cook time, not at the beginning.

I have to say, it was great. It plumped up perfectly and tasted exactly like it did back in the summer, at its peak of freshness. My only regret is that I should have made more. 

I was going to use a turkey breast. But this time of year, it's on the expensive side. I found these nice, cheap turkey legs instead.

I stuck 'em in the crock pot and sprinkled salt and pepper over the top of it all.

Then I added some dried sage and thyme.

And some caraway seeds.

I drizzled some olive oil over the top. Vegetable oil would be okay too.

Butter and oil oil will give the soup a little richness.

How could this get more harvest-y, you ask? There's already fall fruits and vegetables, seasonings, and turkey legs! Here's how--apple cider!

A splash of cider vinegar will bring out your fall flavors.

And a can of chicken broth will ensure there's enough liquid to go around.

Or use some of the Chicken Stock that I'm sure you rushed home to make.

You did, didn't you?

Some dried parsley and a bay leaf should have gone in with the thyme and sage. They're being added now.

Turn the crock pot on high and go do something else. Read a book. Do some laundry. Take a nap. Just do something else for the next 5-6 hours.

Here's what it should look like after a few hours.

When the turkey has cooked and is pull-off-the-bone tender, then ... well ... pull it off the bone.

At this point, you could serve it immediately, or just turn the crock pot on warm and let it wait until you're ready.

When you're ready to eat it, it'll be waiting! And don't worry about leftovers--it reheats beautifully! Give it a try--it's sweet and healthy and ust a really nice fall soup.

Recipe: Harvest Soup

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato (or 1/2 large), peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. dried corn

4 turkey legs (or one bone-in turkey breast)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. dried sage
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. apple cider or juice
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 can chicken broth

Layer vegetables on the bottom of a large crock pot.

Lay turkey over the vegetables. Add seasonings.

Add oil, butter, cider, vinegar, and broth. Turn crock pot on high and let cook 5-6 hours. Remove turkey and pick meat. Return meat to crock pot and discard bones and skin. Serve.

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