In an effort to come up with more complicated food that isn’t me trying to throw something together, I went to my cookbooks. Alas, my collection is lacking. What I do have is Jacques Pepin’s Happy Cooking which has turned out to be a decent book.

Poached Turkey in Vegetable Consommé


1/2 cup dried mushrooms (about 1/3 ounce)
7 cups (1 3/4 quarts) water
1 leek (6 ounces), trimmed (leaving most of the green parts), washed, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 3/4 cups)
3 carrots (6 ounces),
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (1 cup)
2 ribs celery, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch dice (2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 boneless turkey breast (2 pounds), skin removed
Crusty bread
Horseradish and hot mustard (optional)

Place the mushrooms in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, and immediately remove the mushrooms, retaining the liquid in the pot. Chop the mushrooms coarsely, and return them to the pot.

Add all the remaining vegetables and the salt to the pot, bring the mixture to a boil, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add the breast of turkey, and bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and boil gently for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and let the meat and vegetables stand in the hot broth, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and slice it.

Place one or two slices of turkey in each of four soup bowls, ladel the hot broth with vegetables on top, and serve with crusty bread. Offer horseradish and hot mustard on the side, if desired. Or the turkey can be transferred to side plates to be eaten with the bread, mustard, and horseradish, while the broth and vegetables are consumed separately.