THE BEST TURKEY NOODLE SOUP EVER? | A DIABETES ESSENTIALS RECIPE

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Turkey noodle soup, in my opinion, is second only to chicken noodle soup. Not only does it have all of the ingredients, hardiness and nutrition of chicken noodle soup, it’s less expensive to make most of the year. It’s a beloved comfort food that can be enjoyed all year long. We thought this would be a great recipe to test for those with type 2 diabetes and being challenged by what they can safely eat, in this case, noodles.

“…a great recipe to test for those with type 2 diabetes…”

The turkey noodle soup recipe we are making today is sourced from the book, Diabetes Essentials, by Karen Graham. Karen is a certified diabetes educator and author of a series of books written as guides and cookbooks for those managing type 2 diabetes.

A great weekend soup

The best soups in my opinion are those that take at least two days to make. One day to develop the soup stock and the second day bringing together all the remaining ingredients to finish the soup for full flavor development.

Making a great turkey stock is easy

Making a great stock of any kind is easy. It simply requires a little bit of planning and time. I like to think of time as an ingredient when it comes to making stocks and great soups. You simply cannot rush great flavor. Making stock is slightly different than making broth. Stock is typically water and bones and a touch of salt and pepper.

Broth is similar to stock but will include additional ingredients like carrots, celery, onions and herbs. The reason stock is better in this particular case is because we are developing all of the additional flavors when we make the soup later on.

Recommended cuts of turkey

When making turkey stock it can be difficult to find just turkey bones. A more readily available and cheaper cut of turkey that you will find will be wings and drumsticks. You can use turkey necks as well which are also readily available, however, I don’t recommend them.

The problem with turkey necks is that while very inexpensive, small bits of gristle and bone can break off and depending upon how you strain the stock, these bits may end up in your soup which can create a choking hazard and there’s little meat to add back to your final soup. Turkey necks are just not worth it when the wings and drumsticks will do just fine.

Low and slow but totally worth it

In Karen’s recipe, she recommends starting off with 14 cups of water and two hours of simmering time for the stock. This works, but I found it to be a bit weak on flavor and the mouth feel was more like a broth.

The recipe is not specific about the amount of bones needed for a fully developed stock. While her recipe works as is, I have a few suggestions that will improve your results while not straying from the recipe and nutrition.

A great stock will take no less than eight hours to make

A great stock will take no less than eight hours to make. This low and slow method of cooking allows for full extraction of all the flavors from both the meat and the bones as well. The final goal is twofold: 1. making enough stock for the final recipe and 2. using the proper ratios of turkey and water to develop deep flavor. If we need 12 cups of stock, we found that 6 – 8 pounds of a combination of wings and drumsticks worked best with Karen’s 14 cups of water.

The best way I know to reduce the guesswork of stock making is to use no more water than will just cover the meat and bones being used. (Check out our recipe video and the photo below for reference.)

Take the guess work out of making stock

Its important to understand that this method of just covering the turkey with water means that you may use more or less water depending on the combination of meat and bones being used and the size and shape of the pot as well. You can expect to use the full 14 cups of water throughout the cooking process just not all at once in the beginning.

The perfect amount of water is just enough to cover the meat in the stock pot

When starting the stock, bring your water to a boil and then lower your heat to medium low and simmer for at least eight hours. It’s important to check your stock every hour or to skim off any impurities that may develop during the simmering process. You may also need to add more water though out the day. Remember, add just enough water to cover the meat, no more.

When your stock is complete, remove the turkey and bones and strain your stock, each to a separate container. Cover and refrigerate both overnight.

What to expect from your finished stock

Once your stock is fully cooled, it’s important to understand what to expect. If you’ve never made homemade stock before this may look different than what you may be used to when buying stock at the store. Well made, homemade stock is going to look like Jell-O. It will be thick and gelatinous.

A jelly-like stock is a sign of a great, flavor rich stock that won’t need much additional seasoning

Don’t panic! That is exactly what you want. Thick jelly-like stock is the sign of a well-made, rich flavored stock. The bones will have done their job creating flavor and a texture that will remind you of homemade soups your grandmother made when you were a child. Simply amazing.

The last thing you may need to do is simply skim off any remaining fat or impurities that have risen to the surface overnight in the refrigerator. At this point, you will need to re-heat the stock for use or it can also be frozen for use later on, saving you time the next time you want to make soup.

Making the soup

The remaining steps of Karen’s recipe are quite straightforward. The additional Ingredients are few and each one plays a vital role in the flavor and hardiness of the soup. Diced onion, carrot, celery and a little bit of dry dill are all that’s needed to finish up.

The classic ingredients of Turkey Noodle soup

Simply sauté the diced vegetables in a pot with a little bit of oil for one or two minutes or just until the onion starts to become translucent then add the dry dill. I like to sauté the dried dill for a few minutes to develop its flavor.

Next, add your stock and the turkey meat that was pulled off the bones used for the stock. Then bring the soup to a boil and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Once simmering is done, add your egg noodles. It’s important to add the noodles at the very end so they don’t become overcooked. The great thing about egg noodles and cooking them just to the point to where they are al dente is that they hold up really well even when you re-heat leftover soup.

Why this recipe works

Karen’s recipe reminds me of my own grandmothers cooking when I was a child. It brings back fond memories of family dinners at the table with really great homemade food. Other great points are the costs of this soup. It’s very inexpensive and easy to make in bulk. A great choice for weeknight leftovers when cooking time is in short supply.

Nutrition

When following Karen’s recipes you can expect to make seven 1 1/2 cup servings of soup. Each serving is 164 calories with 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein and 1 gram of total fat. Sodium level is 157 mg per serving as well.

Karen’s philosophy is rooted in portion control.

For those being mindful of what you eat when managing diabetes, it’s important to understand that Karen’s philosophy is rooted in portion control. Her recipes also are a delicate balance of proteins, carbohydrates and salt. What’s great about her method is that you’re not giving up many of the foods you love. So the egg noodles in the soup should not be a concern when you consider that the other ingredients balance out your blood sugars and minimize your carbohydrate load. She truly has taken the guess work out of cooking at home in an easy, diabetic friendly way.

Where to find Karen and her work

You can find Karen’s work at diabetesbooks.ca online. There, you can follow her blog and find additional resources that help with type 2 diabetes management. If you’re thinking about buying Karen’s book, “Diabetes Essentials”, we have a link where you can buy it on Amazon here.

You can also find our other video recipe review here and our podcast interview with Karen here. Karen is an amazing resource and expert in the type 2 diabetes community and we would like to thank her and her publisher for their support.

Diabetes Essentials by Karen Graham

We are having an incredible amount of fun testing recipes from Karen’s book series. Be sure to check out our other videos reviewing recipes from her book. We also have recipes reviews from her other books including the Complete Diabetes Guide and Diabetes Cookbook.

Turkey Noodle Soup

The recipe from the book Diabetes Essentials byt Karen Graham
Servings 7 servings
Prep Time 2 d
Cook Time 8 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 d 8 hrs 30 mins

Equipment

  • Stock pot
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chefs Knife
  • 2 medium bowls

Ingredients

For the Stock

  • 14 cups Water
  • 6-8 pounds Turkey wings and drumsticks or Turkey bones

For the Soup

  • 12 cups Turkey stock see above
  • 3 medium Carrots diced
  • 1 white Onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon dry Dill weed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups broad or medium Egg Noodles dry
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

To make the Stock

  • To make your stock, cover bones and meat with water in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for two hours* or until all the meat has fallen off of the bones.
  • Pour the stock about 12 cups through a sieve and set over another large pot place on the counter uncovered to cool
  • Remove chunks of meat from the sieve and chop or shred them. You should have about 2 cups of meat
  • Place to meet in an airtight container. Cover the pot of cold stock. Refrigerate both overnight

To make the Soup

  • The next day, remove and discard fat from the chicken stock. Return the chop meat to the pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, dill and pepper; bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in noodles, increase heat to medium high and boil for five minutes until noodles are cooked but not mushy.

Video

Notes

*Note:  I suggest a longer simmering time of 8 hours for the stock.
Recipe developed by Karen Graham, RD, CDE and credit sourced with permission: Diabetes Essentials. Tips & Recipes to Manage Type 2 Diabetes published by Robert Rose, 2020
Calories: 164kcal
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Comfort food, Noodle, Soup, Turkey

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