As winter begins here at RavenCroft Garden, we turn to heart and hearth for sustenance. We just passed Epiphany and a surprise flush of turkey tail fungi appeared! They revealed their delicately ringed semi-circles with ruffled edges on a pollarded willow. A perfect herb for enriching the turkey bone broth with a boost of winter immune support.
Trametes versicolor, Turkey Tail fungi
Harvested Turkey Tail Fungi
Much like the phases in our lives, gardens take new shapes and forms over time. Letting in the wild edges and gently cultivating hedges allows for fungi and other wild, shall I dare say "weedy" guests to join the raucous caravan. As rain pours its heart into new micro-ponds and rivulets find their way to the lower reaches of the orchard, a savory, deeply nourishing soup bubbles on the wood stove. When did you last enjoy the wonderful fragrance of a simmering pot of turkey soup?
Turkey Noodle Soup with Garden Fresh Leek and Turkey Tail Fungi
First step: Make the Turkey Bone Broth
1 Turkey carcass
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1/2 cup turkey tail fungi fresh or dried
1/2 cup white wine (dandelion if you have it, come for a spring class and learn to make your own if you don't!)
1/4 cup light flavored herbed vinegar
Break down left over turkey bones, remove meat and set aside. Place bones in a kettle which holds the bones and vegetables comfortably and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then turn to simmer and cook for 3-4 hours. This can be done on a wood stove, in a crock pot or on a stove top.
When done, remove bones and strain out cooked vegetables and turkey tails. Turkey broth and meat are now ready to make your soup.
Fresh garden leeks from sweet earth
How to Make the Soup:
1 cup fresh leeks, chopped and sauté in turkey fat, butter or olive oil until tender
Add your reserved broth, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 1/2 hour
Add cooked egg noodles and turkey meat
Optional: fresh or frozen greens, garden peas are a favorite addition!
Winter sustenance from the garden
Gently warm soup until hot. Serve with hardy bread and butter and a simple Waldorf Salad made with chopped apples, celery, walnuts and mayonnaise.
Enjoy blessings of winter with this nourishing and delicious soup!
Note: Turkey tail fungi are too tough to eat. By simmering them in the bone broth their water soluble immune boosting properties are made available in the soup.