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Turkey Noodle Soup Casserole

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I recently cooked up a turkey I bought around Thanksgiving. I always get an extra turkey or two, and use it to can soup, meat, turkey stock, and to use in recipes. At 39 cents a pound, I get a lot of food for a great price. Thinking ahead like this, is a perfect example of thrifty homemaking.

Instead of roasting the turkey, I pressure cooked  it whole. I just cleaned the turkey, sprinkled it with seasoned salt, pepper, and bouquet garnie, added four cups of water, and cooked it at 15 pounds of pressure for 1 hour and 15 minutes. My turkey was 19 pounds. I then picked the meat off, and used the carcass for stock, which again, was cooked in the pressure cooker. I canned 12 quarts of turkey vegetable soup, served some for lunches, and also made turkey noodle soup casserole.

A lot of noodle/poultry based recipes have sour cream, cream soups, etc . . but not this dish. Full of flavor, and packed with veggies and turkey, this is comfort food at its best without the ultra-rich fillers. I do believe boiling the noodles in stock really adds to the depth of flavor, so make sure not to swap the stock for water. Also, the mozzarella might seem like an odd choice, but its the perfect selection, as it lends a creamy texture without overwhelming the integrity of the dish. Also, make sure to use frozen or blanched carrots, as the raw ones take too long to soften with this cooking process.

I think next time I will double this recipe and stick one in the freezer. This would be a fun meal to give someone who is sick or just had a baby. Thrifty, and delicious, this is sure to be a recipe you pull out time and again.

Turkey Noodle Soup Casserole

8 ounces of egg noodles
Enough turkey or chicken stock to boil your noodles
Large bay leaf
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3/4 cups chopped onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 1/2 cups frozen carrots
1 1/2 frozen peas
2 TBSP flour
3 TBSP Butter
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp bouquet garnie (my secret for poultry-based soups!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded turkey
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzerella
1 /4 cups of Panko or breadcrumbs
cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 425. Boil the noodles and bay leaf in stock until done.

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Meanwhile, melt butter in Dutch oven, and sautee onion, celery and garlic. When vegetables are tender. Add peas and carrots and cook until thawed. Add flour to the pot, and mix until pasty. Slowly add milk and combine.) If you add all the milk at once, your mixture might clump.) Add bouquet garnie, salt and pepper.

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Mix in turkey, noodles and one cup of mozzarella cheese. Spoon into a greased casserole dish, and top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle Panko or breadcrumbs on top of cheese, and apply cooking spray to top of casserole.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is brown.

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