WTH is going wrong with my chicken/turkey soup??

JezVonSavage

Lost in the Supermarket
S: 16st2lb C: 14st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 33.2 Loss: 1st6lb(8.85%)
I make quite a lot of soup and I think I'm quite good at it personally ;) Yet every attempt I make at chicken soup (or in this case, Turkey), it goes horribly wrong and ends up vile!!

The recipe I used most recently is:
1 onion
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
handful sprouts
sweet potato
butternut squash
few stalks broccoli
handful green beans
1 parsnip
sage
turkey
chicken stock

It's a Ramsay recipe from the BBC website using up Xmas leftovers and, well, it's just vile. But it isn't just this recipe! Every time I've had a go at something turkey or chicken based it just ends up awful. This made 6 portions and to make it less bearable I had to add Ras el Hanout and it's still, well, pretty rank.

So, are there any soup afficianado's or just bloody good cooks who can point out where I'm going wrong?? I've got two leftover turkey legs and I'd rather not end up with this again :( Is there a magic trick??
 
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Moppet

Full Member
S: 16st1lb C: 15st7lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 36.1 Loss: 0st8lb(3.56%)
I'm not a brilliant cook, so I tend to keep things simple. I use a good chicken stock and add carrots, leek, celery, chicken bits and either rice or noodles. I add a bit of salt (if needed) and then some pepper. It always tastes delicious! :)
 

JezVonSavage

Lost in the Supermarket
S: 16st2lb C: 14st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 33.2 Loss: 1st6lb(8.85%)
Maybe salt and pepper are where I'm going wrong?? i don't tend to put salt or pepper in anything- maybe it really is that simple!! Your's sounds lovely, might have a go throwing some noodles in too :)
 

bilsat

Really likes to cook
S: 18st11.5lb C: 11st9.5lb G: 11st11.5lb BMI: 23.5 Loss: 7st2lb(37.95%)
Have you tried this recipe? there are a lot of people who have and it has had a lot of good reports!

Pete’s Christmas Soup

Serves 4
Ingredients
Morrison’s British turkey thigh, diced. 325g
4 smoked bacon rashers, all fat removed
2 Sainsbury “be good to yourself” extra lean Cumberland sausage (0.5 syn each)
2ltr of Knorr chicken stock pot
Cupful of frozen peas
2 potatoes, peeled
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
1 parsnip
Dried sage
Small box of stuffing mix (optional) Sainsbury’s “Basic Stuffing” made as directed and shaped into 24 little little balls, oven cooked for about 20 mins. (0.45syns each)
Dash of Worcester sauce

Method
Put the turkey meat in a saucepan, cover in chicken stock, keep the rest of the stock, and cook until the meat falls apart, remove and allow to cool, then shred the meat, set to one side.
Cut the sausage open and remove the meat, roll into small sausages and wrap with a small piece of the bacon (makes 8 pigs in blankets 0.5 syn per person) cook in the oven with the stuffing balls, for about 20 mins until cooked & browned.

Lightly fry the rough chopped onions, & cloves in a large soup pan. Add the stock, dried sage and peeled roughly chopped potatoes. Peel and chop the carrots & parsnip into small pieces, Leave to simmer for 25 mins until the vegetables are soft then blitz with the hand blender to make a rustic soup base. Season with Worcester Sauce, salt and pepper.

Add the turkey and peas to the soup base & simmer for 20 minutes. Plate up & place the stuffing balls & pigs in blankets on the top of the soup.

 

Maddysmum

Gold Member
S: 13st10lb C: 12st2.5lb G: 10st1lb BMI: 30.7 Loss: 1st7.5lb(11.2%)
Maybe salt and pepper are where I'm going wrong?? i don't tend to put salt or pepper in anything- maybe it really is that simple!! Your's sounds lovely, might have a go throwing some noodles in too :)

Salt & pepper are generally needed (in varying amounts) in all recipes, they bring a recipe together unless your using herbs.
 

JezVonSavage

Lost in the Supermarket
S: 16st2lb C: 14st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 33.2 Loss: 1st6lb(8.85%)
Pete having had a go at your other recipes I will defo have a crack at that!

Slimbysummer: I very rarely use salt, even the tiniest dash of it and food tastes like sea water to me, but I do use a lot of herbs normally. The recipe I followed wasn't too herb heavy though, i'll add a bit of s&p to the frozen portions i've got.
 

AngelicFruitcake

Full Member
S: 9st9lb C: 8st12lb G: 8st0lb BMI: 22.7 Loss: 0st11lb(8.15%)
I don't add much salt or pepper to anything either, but with soups its a necessity, otherwise they can be really really bland and horrible.
 

ermintrude

Gold Member
S: 27st8.5lb C: 17st3lb G: 16st7.5lb BMI: 36.6 Loss: 10st5.5lb(37.65%)
Agree about the seasoning, it can be horribly, horribly bland without plenty of it.
Also how do you cook it? Presumably you're sweating the veg a bit first? Dont forget to brown the chicken before putting it in, Im sure you know all this already.
Herbwise Id say bay leaves and sage sounds a bit minimal, try chucking plenty of fresh thyme sprigs in or just plenty of dried mixed herbs if thats all you've got. Good stock's important too, plenty of it! (one OXO cube wont cut it! :D and I cant say Id find ras el hanout a good match for turkey & veg myself... ;) )

The other thing is they almost always taste far, far better the day after or even longer when the flavours have had chance to come out and mingle so its good if you can make a big batch and save the rest for another day/s.

At the end of the day personally I find turkey one of the blandest things on the planet so it probably not your cooking skills at fault :D
 

JezVonSavage

Lost in the Supermarket
S: 16st2lb C: 14st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 33.2 Loss: 1st6lb(8.85%)
Thanks Erm. Yes I sweat everything first, tend the put the meat in first so the juices flavour the other stuff. Might try going herb crazy on the next one!

Would you believe the Ras El Hanout didn't add any flavour whatsoever, just gave it a bit of a kick. I've added salt & pepper to todays portion and it is a bit easier on the palette. Still not looking forward to eating the other frozen portions :(
 

Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

Not quite normal
S: 17st1.2lb C: 16st7.2lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st8lb(3.34%)
Failing that, the batch I'm on at the moment (which was roast chicken leftovers, to which I'd added onion, leek, celery etc), started out a bit bland. I added cumin, coriander, turmeric & garam masala, and turned it into a curried soup, and it's gorgeous!

Be creative with your flavours.
If it's not got much flavour of its own, it will definitely need salt, but sometimes you can correct that with something a bit more adventurous. Cinnamon? Nutmeg? More herbs?

I love making soup!
 

Monkey_Monkey_Underpants

Not quite normal
S: 17st1.2lb C: 16st7.2lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st8lb(3.34%)
Oh, and sorry to butt in, when we haven't even met!

Hello, I'm Jim. Or Sarah. Pleased to meet you.
 
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Did you blend the chicken in with your soup? Bcus apparently it wrecks the chicken if you blend it? Well according to John Torode on masterchef it does lol x
 

MommyNOriana

Full Member
S: 11st6lb C: 10st6lb G: 8st13lb BMI: 25.1 Loss: 1st0lb(8.75%)
I'd like to think I'm a pretty good cook and soups are my specialty. My trick to great soup is simplicity. The recipe you have actually sounds kind of vile (sorry!). If I were you, this is what I would do with your remaining turkey legs.

Place turkey legs in large stock pot and cover with water. Simmer turkey legs with the lid on the pot for about an hour. Check your turkey by trying to pick it up out of the pot with a fork. If the meat is falling off the bone, you're good to go. If not, simmer a bit longer until desired result is achieved.

Once turkey is tender, remove from pot and place on a cutting board or large plate to cool. Set turkey water (stock) aside. Once cooked, pick the turkey legs apart with your fingers. Remove the fat and other icky bits and reserve the meat in a separate dish or simply throw it back into your stock that you have set aside. It's a messy job, but worth it in the end! Go ahead and throw away your icky bits unless you plan on roasting those bones to make another turkey stock later.

In a separate pan or stock pot, saute diced onions, carrots, celery, minced garlic and any other root vegetables you like in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. I like to mince my veg up until it's very fine. However, if you like a chunkier soup just dice them as you normally would. Once they have sweated out a bit and/or the onions are becoming transparent, sprinkle with pepper and stir in a good tablespoon of chicken bovril. This will add great flavor and will most likely omit the need for added salt later on.

Combine your stock and turkey bits that you have set aside with the sauteed veg and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste your concoction at this point. If it is too salty for you, add a bit of water. If it's not salty enough, add a little more chicken bovril (not salt). When you are ready, add your starch (noodles/potatoes/rice) and cook until tender. Make sure you time this part appropriately or you will have mush in your soup! You may want to take your soup off the heat for the last two minutes or so of cooking time. The starch will continue to cook after you turn off the burner!

My advice is to always remember that less is more. You don't want to complicate the flavor of your soup with too many ingredients. And as you may have noticed, I VERY RARELY add salt to my soup. Using chicken bovril or something equivalent will give your soup more flavor, as well as adding a salt element.

That's my take on things! I'm a fat American. I know food, so you can trust me! lol Best of luck to you lovie!
 




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