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How to prevent ugly soup?

I've made a pot of turkey-vegetable-noodle soup, from leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkey meat (light and dark). It's delicious, but all the meat came apart--it is all just strings, very unappetizing--is there a way to keep the meat in nice little pieces?

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  1. Probably not a lot you can do other than cooking at a low heat, and putting in larger pieces of turkey and cutting them up into smaller pieces after its done. Your soup sounds delicious!


    1. I like turkey/chicken a la king, but discovered the hard way that in order to have cubes of meat, I have to make it with cubed pieces of raw poultry, which I add to the pot at the same time as the peas and bell pepper, once I have made the sauce. It only takes a few minutes for the meat to cook through.

      1. Gee, I prefer stringiness to cubes that resemble dice all day long.

        1. You could always strain the soup before adding in fresh/raw replacements, but is that really necessary (particularly if it tastes delicious?).

          1. If you are going to do this again then dice it and put it in at the last minute and only long enought to heat it up. Stew all the other junk turkeyy parts to create a broth to impart flavor if you want it. Don't put that meat/bones in the soup, just the broth.
            I'm doing all I can to use up about two punds of thawed smoked turkey, which is awsomely delicious even if I am breaking my arm saying so. Sandwiches were fantastic.

            1. I don't mind poultry falling apart in a soup. If it is a problem, you can always puree it. But if you want to keep those cubes of meat, consider cooking them in ghee (clarified butter). It has the highest burning point of cooking oils or fats. That means you can stir fry them over a high heat, essentially searing the outside of each cube. It does make a difference when added to sauces or broths, as cooks in India know when they prepare so many of their dishes.

              1. When making soup from leftover roast bird, here's what I do. Take the large, appetizing pieces of meat off the bones and set them aside. Put the rest of the carcass and the skin in a pot with some white wine, a bouquet garni, and just cover with water. Bring it to a bare simmer, and cook until you have extracted the flavor from the carcass, then strain and skim. Use that to make your soup, adding vegetables and beans or grains or pasta as needed to get them cooked right, and add your shredded good meat at the end, heating it up at just below a simmer for about 5 minutes before serving. If you distinguish between the meat for flavoring the broth and the meat for the soup, you end out with a prettier final product.

                And be sure to include any pan drippings when making your broth!

                1. Thanks to all--never should have said "ugly", you all generously knew what I meant. Reserving some intact pieces will work next time, I'm sure. Meanwhile I'll bet the "stringyness" added much to the flavor, in a totally improvised soup.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: blue room

                    Thanks to your thread I made soup with potatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, onions, garlic, broccolini, red bell pepper, seeded jalapenos, baby corn, whole dried hot red peppers, basil and turkey breast. The turkey was heavily seasoned with sage, thyme, black pepper (stuffed under the skin), and then smoked with mesquite. We sprinkled some asiago cheese on top and had toasted Italian bread with it. Oh, and some red wine!

                    1. re: Scargod

                      Holy potage, that sounds good! You certainly outdid me--I don't go wild for hot peppers & jalapenos so much, but the asiago, basil, and mesquite-- (and the bread and the wine!) Nice supper!