Recipe Redux- Green Herbs in the Kitchen

Nettle- Some rights reserved by James Bowe
Nettles-Some rights reserved by James Bowe

This month’s Recipe Redux asked us to use a green herb in a different way, or to highlight a rarely used herb.
Nettles (Urtica dioica) are my favorite springtime herb, one that many people aren’t aware of as food, but I love in this Nettles Soup recipe.
They are a bit like the season-vibrant, bitter, prickly with just a bit of a bite from the venom.

Yes, Venom.

Stinging nettles have an interesting way of protecting their stores of Iron, Calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K all wrapped up in a non fat, high fiber package.

To get those vitamins in your body requires picking before the venom pockets are filled and steaming or sauteeing the leaves to breakdown the stingers.

What you are left with is a brilliant green powerhouse of nutrition.

So gather your gloves and long pants, look for an area that has had a bit of disturbance and pick NOW before they flower.

We routinely pick enough to blanch and keep in the freezer for this kind of soup later.

We dry the leaves for a tasty tea to help with seasonal allergies later in spring too.


Twins making dinner. Yeh!

Our twins actually made the soup.
Onions browning this is what the onions look like when ready.

Winter squash, chard and turkey soup #gluten-free
This is just before you add the broth.


Winter Squash, Turkey and Nettle soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
When the first nettles of spring sprout in Bellingham, this is the soup I make. Using the last of our stored winter squash, combined with organic turkey meat and broth, this soup satisfies
Recipe type: Soup Dinner
Serves: 12
  • 1 large onion-diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 turban squash or other winter squash- baked, cooled and mashed
  • 2 cups diced turkey meat
  • 2 cups chopped chard
  • 1 cup chopped nettles
  • 1 quart turkey broth
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Cook onion with olive oil in large deep pan till well browned and soft.
  2. Add the mashed squash, turkey meat, chopped chard and nettles.
  3. Cook till the greens become bright and vibrant
  4. Add turkey broth, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook till warmed through.
  6. Serve with bread or rice.


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Turkey Soup with Dumplings

Soup with Dumplings- Gluten-Free
Without Xanthan or Guar gums

Now that the Thanksgiving dinner is done, what do you do with the leftovers?
Around my house there are family classics so important that we actually make double of these foods just to enjoy them.
One is this soup.
The recipe calls for vegetables to be diced from fresh, and that is wonderful. But, I just cook extra carrots with a bit of dill and butter, extra brussel sprouts and turnips, extra roasted parsnips and a few creamed onions.
Then all I have to do to get this soup on the table is add diced carrots.
Feel free to use up all your vegetable leftovers. Just make the broth and then proceed to soften any not already cooked vegetables in a bit of oil or butter. Pour in the hot broth, add the cooked vegetable leftovers and top with the dumpling batter.
Your soup will be uniquely yours.

Turkey Soup with Dumplings
Use your Thanksgiving turkey carcass to create this lovely filling soup for dinner
  • Turkey carcass- all meat removed and reserved.
  • Water to cover
  • one bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 4 carrots- diced
  • 5 stalks of celery- diced
  • 2 large onions- diced
  • 1 parsnip- diced
  • 3 red potatoes-diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • as much of the turkey meat as you wish
  • One batch Dumpling Dough- either with dairy or without
  1. Place turkey in water.
  2. Tie the bay leaf and peppercorns into a square of cheesecloth.
  3. Add to the pot.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cook for 1-2 hours.
  5. Using a colander, strain the broth into another pot.
  6. Heat the fat of your choice in the stockpot.
  7. Add all the diced vegetables and cook till slightly browned and tender.
  8. Add the turkey stock and as much of the meat as you wish
  9. Add the herbs.
  10. Simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
  11. Place small balls of the Dumpling Dough onto the hot soup.
  12. Cover the pot of soup with a tight cover.
  13. Cook for additional 10 minutes before checking the dumplings.
  14. They should be tender, risen and a toothpick inserted inside will come out clean.

Roasting the Turkey

I have to admit, I have never overcooked a turkey.

So here is how I do it.

Recipe: Roast Turkey


  • One 12-14 Brined Turkey
  • One onion chipped into 1 inch dice
  • 2 carrots – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks- cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 organic lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scatter the onion, carrots, and celery inside a roasting pan.
  3. Insert the rosemary and lemon inside the turkey cavity.
  4. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
  5. Bake the turkey for 15 minutes then turn the oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Roast for 3 hours, then check the temperature. If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, tent the turkey with foil.
  7. The turkey is done when the temperature is 165 degrees.
  8. Once you have the turkey roasted completely, remove it to a serving platter and continue on to make gravy.

Quick notes

Make sure that you get a turkey without any additives, most of them still have modified food starch

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 4 hour(s)

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 12

Copyright © Dr. Jean Layton-GFDoctor.
Recipe by Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes.


Turkey Gravy- No Lumps!

Once again our lack of gluten can make life just a wee bit easier.

Since we have to use a gluten-free flour to thicken our gravy, it is very easy to stir out any lumps. But to get a flavorful gravy there are a few tricks.

First, use the roasting pan of the turkey as the gravy making pan.  This insures that we don’t miss any of the darkened bits on the bottom of the pan from adding their flavor to the gravy.

Second, make the gravy while the bird is resting.

What, You don’t rest your bird?  Resting allows all those hot juices in the turkey to settle back into the meat, creating that perfect moist, tender meat that we all crave.

So go ahead and put your turkey on your serving platter, cover it with a tent of foil and let it sit to rest while the gravy takes the focus.

So lets begin:

Recipe: Giblet Herb Gravy

Summary: Gravy, no lumps, best accompaniment to turkey ever.


  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour
  • 1 quart Turkey Broth – from giblets
  • 1 teaspoon each fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste


  1. Once you have the turkey resting comfortably on the platter under it’s foil tent, pour the oil and juices from the roasting pan into a pyrex measuring cup or other heat proof pitcher.
  2. Pour off the excess fat from the measuring cup. I tend to leave about 2 tablespoons on top of the meat juices.
  3. Place the roasting pan on a medium flame.
  4. Pour the juices into the pan.
  5. Brown the juices till they are the color of the skin of the turkey.
  6. Using a whisk or gravy tool, stir in the sweet rice flour.
  7. Allow the mixture to cook for 1-2 minutes to absorb all the fats.
  8. Add the herbs, salt and pepper.
  9. Add the broth and allow the gravy to come to the simmer.
  10. Cook for 2-4 minutes.


To make the giblet broth, use 6 cups of water. Add one carrot, one celery stalk and 1/2 onion cut into chunks  Bring the water to a simmer and add the heart, neck and all the other bits in the packet from the turkey Except for the Liver.  Allow them to simmer till the turkey juices have browned.  Strain into a measuring cup.

Sometimes, I add in a bit of garlic along with the herbs, Sometimes I use a bit of white wine too. Feel free to make this your own by including your favorite gravy additions like mushrooms or shallots

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 12

Copyright © Dr. Jean Layton-GFDoctor.
Recipe by Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes.


Brining your Bird

Recipe: Brine for Turkey


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • Ice
Place salt, sugar and boiling water in a pot.
Return to the boil and cook till sugar and salt melt.
Chill till very cold.
In a 5 gallon bucket or large stock pot, place turkey.
Top with the cooled brine and ice to cover.
Let the turkey remain in the brine for 6-8 hours.
Remove from the brine, pat dry before roasting.
This works just as well for a chicken, duck or game bird.
Copyright © Dr. Jean Layton-GFDoctor.
Recipe by Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes.