Monday, December 6, 2021

Prepper’s Pantry: Soups and Stews

With Thanksgiving having just passed and the winter holidays approaching, the general desire for a nice big bowl of steaming hot soup or stew seems to increase, especially in the colder regions. Soups and stews have traditionally been an excellent way to make use of leftovers and scraps. They permeate nearly every culture, with Mulligan Stew and Stone Soup coming from folklore. 

We have a variety of recipes in my family, including several types of chicken soup, chili (with beans), beef stew, black bean soup, barely and lamb stew, Hungarian goulash, and corn chowder, but this time of year is when a specific memory rises to the top. When I was small, part of the family post-Thanksgiving tradition was my mother making a big pot of turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers, I’ve tried to do the same ever since I moved out on my own.

What follows is the recipe pretty much as my mother gave it to me, including her notes. It’s really more of a stew than a soup, being almost thick enough to eat with a fork due to the barley, but tradition means we call it a soup. 

I usually serve my soup with fresh made biscuits, using White Lily self-rising flour if you can find it, or King Arthur flour if you can’t.

White Lily Light & Fluffy Biscuits


  • 2 cups White Lily Self-Rising Flour
  • ¼ cup Crisco shortening or 1 stick butter - softened
  • ¾ cup buttermilk or 2/3 cup milk


  1. Place flour in a large bowl. Cut in shortening (or butter) with pastry blender or two knives until crumbs are the size of peas.
  2. Add buttermilk, stirring with fork just until flour is moistened.
  3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead gently 5 to 6 times, just until smooth.
  5. Roll dough into a 7-inch circle that is ¾ to 1 inch thick.
  6. Cut out 7-8 biscuits using a floured 2 inch biscuit cutter.
  7. Place on baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
  8. Shape dough scraps into a ball, pat out until ¾ inch thick, cut out additional biscuits.
  9. Bake at 475 degrees Fahrenheit 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Mom’s Turkey Soup


  • 1 meaty turkey carcass
  • 1 bunch of celery (use the leaves too)
  • 1-1½ lbs carrots, cut in half lengthwise and into 1” slices
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 lb Parsnips, ½” rounds
  • 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped dill (separated) {the secret ingredient}
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup barley {the other secret ingredient}


  1. Place turkey carcass and any additional turkey, celery, carrots, onions, parsnips, garlic, 1-cup dill, parsley, salt, pepper, and water in a large pot over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Simmer for three hours.  Skim foam off the soup as it cooks.
  2. After three hours, remove carcass, cool and shred all of the meat.
  3. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomatoes and the barley.  Simmer for an additional 40 minutes.  Add the remaining 1-cup dill and serve piping hot.  Leftovers can be frozen.

I hope this recipe brings warmth to you, our readers and their families, both inside and out.

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