I’m not much of a fan of summer. I don’t sleep well, I sweat, I dehydrate, and my electricity bills are through the roof from running AC. We are raised to look forward to summer, school’s out and trips are planned, but if your career is not that of an educator, once you’ve graduated, summer is just like winter, spring or fall, except for hikes in air-fare and gas prices. I much prefer winter and spend too much of the year dreaming of those golden-brown leaves so I can dust off my slow-cooker and celebrate the falling temperatures with soup.
I use turkey necks when I make chicken soup, they bring a strong flavor to any broth, which allows for a shorter cooking time. Dried shitake mushrooms also have a meaty flavor of their own which makes for a marriage of strong flavor profiles in this dish. Using Marmite as stock gives another boost to the flavor combinations in this dish.
You could serve as an appetizer, or with the pasta I added, as a meal in it’s own right. Either way, it’s a little taste of winter for those early evenings in front of the fire.
You will need the following to serve six to eight people. (4 WeightWatchers Points Plus per serving)
- Five Turkey Necks
- One Red Onion
- One Yellow Onion
- Three Cups of Uncooked Pasta
- Dried Shitake Mushroom Stock
- 1/2 Cup Black Eyed Peas
- Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon of Marmite
Boil some water and while waiting for it to come to a boil, roughly chop your onions and put in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add your turkey necks, pasta and black eyed peas to the crock pot. When the water comes to a boil, pour over the dried mushrooms to make a stock. Let this sit for ten to fifteen minutes then add to your crock pot. Cover with water, stir in the marmite and set on low for five or six hours. Don’t shy away from leaving this on low for even longer. It will do no harm.
It’s really that simple! The large chunks of onion do not disappear or become mushy, so as you you have delicious bites of sweet onion in your soup, and black eyed peas can take a very long time to soften, so they killed my desire to add croutons to this dish by providing some texture of their own.
Serve with a splash of tamari and your favorite hot sauce.