YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

No introduction is really necessary for this recipe. Just pop on over to the supermarket for some scallions and a little knob of ginger if you need, and make this soup with your leftovers. There’s a good chance you already have all the other ingredients. It’ll take all afternoon to cook, but only 10 minutes to throw together. The biggest time investment is looking through the bones for bits of meat. But don’t feel the need to go crazy looking for every last piece. Feel free to stop when you feel like it. It’ll be enough, and it’ll be worth it.

One leftover turkey carcass, either whole or in broken-up parts
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 small knob fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, halved (but not peeled)
1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch slices
½ cup scallions, sliced thinly
1 small sweet potato, in ½-inch cubes
1-2 cups leftover turkey meat, in ½-inch cubes

  1. Place turkey carcass in a large pot filled with water to approximately 2 inches above the carcass. [If there are attached bits of turkey on the carcass, you can use them (see below) in a later step, but the best flavor comes from the bones themselves, so it will be fine whether or not it’s been stripped clean.] Cover the pot, place in a 225F oven, and leave to cook 4-6 hours. Add ginger, garlic, salt, black pepper, and onion, and leave to cook for 2 hours more. Placing a clean soup pot underneath, strain the contents of the pot through a colander lined with cheese cloth.
  2. Pick through the colander to pull out the pieces of meat. Slice into bite-sized pieces, and return to the stock. If you want more turkey in the soup, look through the refrigerator to find a good-sized leftover thigh or two and use that. Discard remaining turkey bones and cartilage.
  3. Add sweet potato and carrots to the soup. Place pot on the stove, bring to a slow boil, and cook 30-45 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add scallions and cook 5 minutes more.
  4. Divide among 4 bowls, and serve with a large plate containing your choice of things like cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, and/or chili paste. If you don’t have any of these, don’t worry about it. The soup is remarkably flavorful with or without them.

Bon appetit!

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