The day after Thanksgiving is marked for making soup. Truth be told I enjoy making and eating turkey soup more than the actually turkey dinner of yesterday. The turkey dinner can be hit or miss but turkey soup is forgiving.* I used to follow recipes for this, but I’ve learned over the years this doesn’t require any it is make-it-up-as-you-go-along using whatever is at hand. I follow the ancient recipe:

  1. Take whatever you have
  2. Boil it in water for a while
  3. Eat it.

First step is to get out the carcass from last night and strip it of as much meat as possible for Someone to make a pot pie. There is usually enough left on the bones of the bird for the soup. The late Ann Marie AKA Warrior-Queen (may she rest in peace) gave me a few years ago an electric knife after I mentioned wanting one here for some years. I think of her whenever I use it.

Harper who can sleep through earthquake is awake and by my side for this step, begging for turkey bits, which she gets, but she is insatiable. She doesn’t mind those nasty bits covered in ‘jelly’ which I dislike.

The only question (still unanswered which is better) is to sauté the vegetables first adding the turkey or add them chopped to the simmering soup. This year I am doing the latter, using up some not-so-crunchy carrots and limp-looking celery in the fridge. I am having sense to let the carcass simmer for as long while to let water take on as much flavor as possible before adding herbs and salt and such.

The simmering soup gives the house a nice smell. After an hour or more I pick through the soup and remove all the bones, which are bereft of meat. Some folks strain all of this and just use the broth and add fresh new vegetables and chopped meat but I figure they are there already so what the hell. My way saves on vegetable but there is always a surprise bone bit in the servings.

Near the end there is the question whether or not to add a starch like pasta or egg noodles. There is a half box in the pantry of small orzo-like pasta whose only use is in soup. If I add chopped potatoes Someone is less likely to eat it. Egg noodles are my favorite but these lovelies could be used later on in a tuna fish casserole so I guess I will use the pasta bits after all.

One year I added a fancy rice but we both thought it overpowered the soup. This is turkey soup dammit not rice soup.

No matter how I make turkey soup it comes out more or less OK and there is enough to feed a well-patronized soup kitchen. Some if it will be eaten this weekend but a lot will be put into containers and frozen for later. I must must must remember to label these things as all frozen container contents look alike.

So that’s what I am doing this day. Someone is working at the convention hall in which a nation-wide bridge tournament is being held. My eyes cross at the sorts he must have to contend with today. I am glad to be at home in the kitchen stirring once, stirring twice, stirring turkey soup no rice.

*Yesterday’s turkey was a flop. We followed the advice of J. Kenji López-Alt on how to cook a turkey. He has never steered me wrong so I suppose the failure lies in operation error. The white meat was OK but the legs and inner thigh region came out hardly looked. Oh the horror. Someone and I took off some of the breast meat and ate with relish washing it down with large amounts of Gewurtztraminer wine to kill any bacteria. I put the bird back in the oven and we forgot about it engrossed in Doctor Who. The now well-done bird was a bit beyond table presentation but what the hell it’s going in soup and pot pies anyway. I may write Mr. Lopez-Alt to tell him his recipe is a turkey.