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Meat Lite: Smoked Turkey Soup

Editor's note: Philadelphia food writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond drop by each week with Meat Lite, which celebrates meat in moderation. Meat Lite was inspired by the book coauthored by the two, Almost Meatless, due out in spring 2009.

Bacon supporters are an unwavering bunch. Smear campaigns run by health pundits claim that bacon is driving the health crisis with its fat-laden record and reputation, but they can't deter loyalists. Bacon continues to win the popular vote, even reaching across the aisle to attract vegetarians.

It's arguable, though, that above its crispy goodness, beyond the virtues of its rendered renewable grease (which Joy Manning endorsed not long ago), bacon's greatest appeal is its signature smoky flavor and ultra-savory characteristics. Smoked pork belly, then, isn't the only candidate capable of reviving recipes with flavor change we can believe in. Other smoke-cured foods, including beef, poultry, fish, and vegetables lend the same infiltrating flavor and aroma. And, just like bacon, a little bit goes a long way.

This rich, filling Smoked Turkey Soup calls on the credentials of naturally smoked, nitrate-free turkey wings to get behind an entire pot of ingredients. Plus, a few ounces of tender turkey meat make the finished bowl even heartier than bits of bacon would.

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