The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season. At least that’s how it was in our house growing up. That’s when my brother and I would help my parents put up the Christmas lights on the house. There was an inside team and an outside team. The inside team were the light checkers, and the outside team were the light putter-uppers. While we did all of this we would graze on the Thanksgiving leftovers all-day long. And of course to set the mood, we would start jamming the Christmas tunes. Christmas music in November!? It’s so early, what’s wrong with you!?
I got to kick-off my Thanksgiving celebration a little early this year. I was one of the parent volunteers for Ellie’s kindergarten Thanksgiving party. I always enjoy the chance to get a glimpse inside the classroom where Ellie spends seven hours of her day. I had to bring plates, veggies, and a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie happens to be my specialty so I was happy to sign up for that one.
Turkey soup made with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. I’ve made this soup every year since I was in college and over the years my process has changed. It’s always an all day event though. The longer it simmers, the better it is. The two ingredients that makes this soup zing are a bottle of beer, and some apple cider. I always use too many kluski noodles so the soup on day two is more like just noodles. But it still tastes awesome.
Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
I never measure or write anything down for this. I always wing it, but this is the best I can remember.
I take my biggest pot and put in about 1/3 bottle of white wine. Then I fill the pot about 3/4 full of water. Then I add salt, oregano, thyme, basil, and a few bay leaves. Then I throw in the a turkey leg and a wing, and whatever other scraps look the fattiest. Anything with big chunks of skin. Next I add chopped carrots, celery, and onions. I bring it to a boil and let it cook on low for a few hours.
Then I take the turkey out and cut up all the meat and return it to the pot. I discard the skin and all that stuff. I do keep two bar bones and throw them back in the pot. I’m not sure why, but this is what I do. After the turkey meat is chopped up and added, this is when I pour in a full bottle of beer. It’s different every year. This year I went with Bell’s Winter White. After the beer, I add between 1 and 2 cups of apple cider. Let it simmer for another couple hours.
Then it’s time to add the noodles. Bring it to a boil and add half a bag of kluski noodles and walk away. I always do more, I just can’t stop myself. I never walk away. Once the noodles are done, you’re good to go. But you can let it simmer longer too. This soup tastes the best left over.