Nothing warms the bones during these cold weather snaps like a big steaming bowl of homemade soup, and luckily, nothing is more easy to make. This year I froze the turkey carcasses (I wish there was a prettier word for that) Thanksgiving night and the next week I boiled them down into a delicious stock. I just threw the birds (you can also add the necks if you save those) in my water bather, covered them with water and let it simmer on low heat for a hour and a half or so. I wanted to make a plain broth, but you could also add a bay leaf or other herbs to it while its cooking. After the broth was done I let it cool overnight. then pulled the birds out, stripped any good meat off them and poured the broth into gallon zip lock baggies to freeze. From two birds I ended up with a little over 3 liters of broth and several cups of turkey.
This last weekend Jeff and I defrosted a bag of broth and made ourselves a hearty turkey soup with the last of our garden veggies. We served the soup with some left over rolls we had frozen from Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
2 cups of left over turkey bits torn into little pieces
1.5 liters of turkey broth
Any veggies you happen to have cut into chunks:
Chard (add right before serving)
5 garlic cloves minced
3 cans of white beans
1) Defrost broth and add to a large stock pot on medium heat. Toss in garlic and beans.
2) Cut veggies into large chunks adding those that take longer to cook first.
3) If you don't have any fresh veggies (or if its just too cold to go out and pick them), add a few vigorous shakes of Italian seasoning. Otherwise, add some fresh rosemary, parsley and a bay leaf. Salt and Pepper to taste.
3) Simmer soup until the carrots are soft but not mushy, 20-30 minutes. Add meat in the last five minutes just to heat it up.
4) Pour into bowls with torn up chard in the bottom. You can grate some cheese over the top if you have any on hand (we used Gouda).
I know this recipe isn't rocket science, but soup is a great way to use up some veggies from the crisper drawer that you might not know what to do with. The whole meal also only takes about 30 minutes to make, so it's a perfect weekday meal that is big enough for leftovers.
feel free to exchange the beans for any starch you might have on hand (potatoes/rice/pasta).