I finally made Thanksgiving dinner - woo hoo!! So after my family graciously cleared the table and washed the dishes, I knew, staring at all of the deep-fried turkey remains that I just HAD to make some turkey soup.
My sister-in-law Laura unknowingly threw down the gauntlet when she arrived on Wednesday. "Last year you made the BEST turkey soup!" I'm a bit competitive and knew that this year, I had to make more and it absolutely HAD to be even better. It's a cook thing.
So, in my effort to keep things easy breezy, partially because I'm burnt out from cooking the big dinner and partially because I'm, well, lazy, I wanted to keep it really easy, with no measuring or real effort. Here's the recipe (feel free to ad lib as you like):
Christine's Absolutely Fabulous Leftover Turkey Soup
Start by taking your turkey carcass (ours had been deep-fried) and various bit and pieces and throw them into a stock pot (mine was 6 qt., but 8 or 10 would work great too). Cover the turkey parts with cold water and place on the stove. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for a few hours or however long you have-longer is better (mine simmered for 3 hours or so Thanksgiving night, then in the fridge, then back on the stove this morning for another 4 hours). When your liquid drops by an inch or two, add some more water and keep on going (I did this a few times). It helps to concentrate the flavor and give you plenty of broth.
Once the broth smells really rich and has a gorgeous golden tone, set a colander over a large bowl and strain the bones etc. out.
Place the pot back on the stove and toss in a tablespoon or two of butter. (This is where you can get creative). Add any leftover vegetables, without sauce, to the pot and saute until tender, about 5 minutes or so. I used green beans, cut into pieces, sliced raw carrots, a few diced shallots, and a sliced leek.
Pour broth back into the pot. My family eats Kluski noodles on every major holiday, so I took a huge handful of cooked noodles and threw those in the pot too. Add a teaspoon or two of crushed dried thyme and generously salt and pepper it (some fresh parsley would be nice too, but we were totally out). Pull turkey from the bones and toss in the pot as well. We also had leftover carved turkey, so I put some of that in too.
Allow the soup to simmer a half hour or so, or until everything is soft and soup-like. Keep the pot on the stove if you like or gobble it all up right away (see what I did right there? Gobble. Get it? Like a turkey. Tee hee)
Even though this soup seriously cooked all day, it required very little maintenance - more like just some alone time on the stove. We were home, so it wasn't a big deal. When we left to hit Frosty Friday downtown for a few hours, we turned the soup off. When we got back home, we turned it back on. See? Easy.
And that's it. Turkey Soup. The house will smell great and you'll get turkey part deux with a smidgen of the effort of the day before.