What to Do With All Your Thanksgiving Left Overs?

Growing up we had a neighbor by the name of Ron. He was a retired NYPD officer who is married to a very lovely British woman named Mo. Every year after Thanksgiving had passed and everyone grew tired of turkey sandwiches, Ron & Mo would whip this magical soup up. My family would flock next door and our family adopted a new tradition. It is beyond simple and is that legendary recipe that has never been written down and evolved every year based on the contents of the fridge but that’s what makes it so great!

The essentials.
Bird Carcass
Onion- 1 large (Sweet)
Celery- ½ a bunch
Cranberry fresh or canned (sauce, relish, whatever you got)
Stuffing

Optional Veggie Sides. 
Green Beans
Carrots
Potatoes of any kind (mashed, sweet, roasted, ect.)
Beans

To Start. This is like any soup in that you want to chop your onions and celery. Place a heavy bottom stock pot on your stove and get your pot hot. Next, throw some oil (canola preferably) and toss in your onions and celery. You want to hear a nice sizzle when they go in. Turn heat to medium and let these lil guys sweat. You know they are ready when onions have turned translucent and slightly yellow in color.

Making Stock. Next whip out that bird body. Throw that carcass in with all its left over meaty goodness and if it sticks to the bottom that’s fine. Let it go with the onions and celery for 3-4 minutes, and keep stirring. You do not want anything to burn, but you do want caramelization on the bottom of the pot. If you have roasted your bird the bones have a great depth of flavor. A touch of fat and other meaty goodies will start sticking to the bottom of your pot and we are going to take full advantage of that free flavor. Add 4 cups of water and crank your heat up to get that simmering. Scrape off any stuck-on bits. Fill pot the rest of the way with water. Cover and simmer for 2-4 hours. Of course, longer is better but if all the meat and bones have fallen apart you are there.

Hot Dump. Strain the broth and separate meat and bones. Yes, this soup is hot and at this point you have dumped a whole lot of hot liquid back and forth and been wrist deep in turkey bits. If you make the broth the night ahead, you can save yourself the trouble of singeing off your phalanges and just strain the broth and refrigerate turkey bits separately.

Composition. Dump broth, left-over turkey meat, stuffing and cranberry in the stock pot and bring to a boil. If your feeling wild dump more sides in. Simmer for an hour and enjoy!

Somebody polish off all the turkey? No problem. The seasoning from stuffing and cranberry are the foundation for this soup and make it sing.  All other sides can be omitted or added based on availability.

Vegetarian/ Vegan? Use vegetable stock and proceed with recipe.

*Note. This is an equal opportunity soup, with exception of two sides. Those candies sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. Don’t do it, they will ruin everything. Also, salad gets a little weird and if its dressed creates and oil slick on top of the soup.

Enjoy!

~Kate