Thursday, December 31, 2009

Turkey Doodle Soup?

It's time for Foodie Friday with Gollum! Check out all the great foodie posts HERE.

I haven't joined in lately (too busy tablescaping, shopping, Christmas-ing, and ... squeezing in a full-time career here and there). If you're interested in tablescapes, you can see my latest "And a Hummel New Year" HERE.

Today I thought I'd share a great (I think) way to use leftover turkey from holiday meals. I don't mind leftovers at all ... I enjoy sliced turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, etc. When I was a child, I remember my mother concocting a version of turkey soup that we all liked. Since it began with boiling what was left of the bird after it had been carved, she dubbed it "Turkey Carcass Soup" (OK, her sense of humor WAS a little twisted at times). I recall her saying how amazing it was how much meat came off the almost-bare bones when they were boiled.

I decided to give it a try with my Christmas turkey's ... well ... the carcass. It was true about how much meat appeared (and you can always add more leftover turkey if you like your soup extra hearty). I did a variation of the famous Doodle Soup that's celebrated with a festival every year in the West Tennessee town of Bradford. That's doodle as in "cock-a-doodle-doo."

Here's a quote from

"If you drive by Bradford in September, you will more than likely see a sign proclaiming
this small West Tennessee town to be the “Doodle Soup Capital of the World.” At the
end of September the residents of Bradford come together for a weekend of festivities
including a quilt show, baby crawling contest, street dance, and, of course, a Doodle
Soup supper. No one really knows the origin of Doodle Soup, and there are nearly as
many different recipes for it as there are residents in Bradford. Here is a recipe from
Betty Jo Taylor, a Bradford resident who considered quite the chef by attendees of the
Doodle Soup festivities."

1 broiler chicken, 2 tablespoons cooking oil
2/3 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar to taste
salt to taste
dried cayenne pepper to taste
Before putting meat in roaster, add cooking oil
and 2/3 cup vinegar. Roast chicken in oven until done.
Remove chicken and allow broth to cook on top of stove.
Add 2/3 cup vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and cayenne
pepper. Gradually stir in flour until it begins to thicken.

Here's the soup I made:

It's traditional to serve the soup over biscuits or crackers. I prefer biscuits. In the picture above, I used leftover ones I'd made (from scratch) for breakfast. I've also used drop biscuits and frozen ones from the supermarket. All seem to work equally well.

I don't include the sugar or the flour called for in Ms. Taylor's recipe. I've made it with fresh red pepper, but dried seems to taste about the same. I always add black pepper to taste. When I've needed to prepare a meal in a hurry, I've made it with a roasted chicken from the deli and added unsalted broth from the supermarket. The overall flavor is vinegary and peppery so, if you like those ingredients, you'll probably enjoy Doodle Soup.

Below are photographs from Doodle Soup Days in Bradford:

From the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development's website:
Bradford is the "Doodle Soup Capital of the World". No one knows the exact origin of this hot, spicy, savory dish. Some say the recipe was brought to Tennessee more than 150 years ago; others say it originated here. People from the entire area, as well as all parts of the nation, come to Bradford to sample the famous soup.The Bradford Doodle Soup Days are held annually - the third weekend in September.
For information, contact:
Bradford City Hall207 East Main StreetBradford, TN 38316Phone: (731) 742-3465


  1. Never heard of Doodle Soup, but sounds yummy! Love the bowl and plate the soup is in! Is it Blue Ridge Pottery by any chance? Hope you have a Happy New Year!

  2. This sounds great for a cold night. The vinegar sounds interesting, will have to try this. I laughed about the leftovers. We love them! DH always insists that I make birdzilla so that we have plenty. Reminds me of "A Christmas Story" - turkey soup, turkey hash, turkey pot pie... Have a great New Year! Kathy

  3. Well I think I would rather eat from a turkey carcass than a turkey doodle. Your mom had the right idea.

  4. Bill, I have never heard of Doodle Soup, but it sure does sound yummy! I mentioned it to Madison and she laughed (I call her "Doodle" all the time!)

  5. Doodle Doup?? I see Speech Therapy in your future!
    Happy New Year, Bill!

  6. Never heard of Doodle Soup! That's quite a clever name. My favorite chicken soup is at a small local Mexican restaurant. It is loaded with lots of rice and cilantro... so good. Chicken soup is a great comfort food on a cold winter day!

  7. Happy New Year !!!!! Never been to Bradford or heard of Doodle Soup. However, I usually take all the remaining meat off the turkey, package it separately, then use the carcass, drippings and bits of pieces to make a stock, cool it, take any grease off the top and dispose of it, then freeze the stock in smaller containers to make soups, turkey & noodles, etc. in the cold Wnter months. It will have the rosemary, garlic, pepper, etc. in it. Yum! I have done this for years - did I do it this year - NO! Had to much other going on and never got around to doing it and now wished I had taken the time. :(


  8. *shudders at the picture* Haha, not that it's that bad, I just can't STAND soggy bread, so the thought of pouring soup over a biscuit is really gross to me. The actual soup, however, sounds very good and I made something like that this year with my Thanksgiving leftovers.

  9. If you bottled this, you'd start a foodie trend. It looks and sounds sublime--and that moist biscuit in the center. Heaven! Thanks for spending New Year's Eve at Gollum's!

  10. I'm drinking champagne,too! My older son is a professional chef, and, via phone consultations, he said the key to scallops is to keep them dry (searing ain't gone happen in liquid, he says). Keep those paper towels handy. The thing about scallops is they lend themselves to salsas and fruit and pureed peas and heaven knows what. Good stuff. They are almost like architecture.
    But edible.
    I hope 2010 is filled with joy, tablescaping, and recipes.

  11. Doodle soup -- what a clever name!

    Happy New Year -- looking forward to more incredibly elegant tablescapes in 2010!

  12. Hi Bill. a very Happy and healthy 2010 to you!!

    My mum used to use the carcass and turkey leftovers for a soup and it was always very tasty and warming.I too wouldn't fancy soggy biscuits, but a dumpling or two would be filling!!

    Jackie in UK

  13. Hi Bill!

    Hummmm..."Doodle Soup" now that is a new one to me. but the recipe looks like a good one to make during the cold winter months!

    I wish you and your family a wonderful 2010!!

  14. Happy New Year, Bill...never heard of this soup, but sounds great. Looking forward to a great year and your beautiful tablescapes.


  15. Bill,
    I can vouch for you that Yes, Virginia there really is a Doodle soup...Of course I cheat since I too live in West Tennessee and Bradford is just "Right up the road" from us. A nice surprise today when I viewed your past post about the Dixie and saw your photo with an old acquaintance Judy. This small world is amazing.

  16. Well, I love vinegary stuff, so I think this sounds delicious and I love sampling new recipes that are attached to a region or a town.

    Missed you Bill, looks like started slowing down about the time I took a two month (sick) break. If I remember right, you did a recipe for mojitos that included a beautiful pair of vintage flamingos. I want to do a Flamingo something-or-other in the Spring and I was hoping you would get in on it with a repost. After all, you can never share mojitos too often.

    Happy 2010!

  17. Doodle Soup? I've never heard of it! But it looks very warm and comforting. Happy New Year Bill.
    - The Tablescaper

  18. The vinegar is an interesting touch...I'm a soup lover, but I've never heard of this one. I did make Turkey Carcass Soup once. As I remember, it was very good...but, the carcass cooking was so ugly, I never did it again:)

    Happy New Year!


  19. Thank you for such an interesting post! I had never heard of Doodle Soup before either but what a great tradition in Bradford.

  20. This is certainly a unique dish. I have to save this one. I love soup, any soup. Thank you for posting.

  21. Looks wonderful! My "leftover" turkey bones are still in the freezer waiting for the pot! Great photos!
    I'm having a New Year Give away, stop by if you get a chance!
    ~Here's to a wonderful New Year~
    ~Really Rainey~

  22. Bill, that looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I've been playing with turkey all week, and I will remember this one for future turkey leftovers. Looks SO good!

    Just dropped by to wish you all that is best for 2010. You are such a darling, and I wanted to be sure and get by here on New Year's Day to wish you many, many blessings...

    Happy New Year to you and those you love!


    Sheila :-)

  23. I'm not sure what I like more, the sound of the soup or it's charming name! It looks wonderful!

  24. This sounds great! Thank you, I'm copying and pasting right now!

    Happy New Year!
    All the best,

  25. Just happened upon your blog from a comment you made on Between Napping on the Porch and must say you make absolutely stunning tablescapes. Can't wait to read your archives.

  26. Oh, I forgot to tell you that we expanded on your Mojito recipe and made a Mojito Punch for one of our Christmas parties ~ it was a BIG hit! Thanks!
    All the best,

  27. -- looking forward to more incredibly elegant tablescapes in 2010!

    Work from home India