A Hamburger Today

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Roast Turkey Soup

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

At my family's place, when Thanksgiving is done right, there are a few things you're sure to find strewn about the place the morning after: A couple guitars and some half empty bottles of scotch. Turkey meat and a carcass. Plenty of mild hangovers to nurse.

I don't know about you, but if it's not staying in bed and wishing I were never born (or at least that the damned Scotsman who first decided to distil fermented barley had never been born), my next course of action to cure a hangover is to cook my way through it. There's something quite soothing about the repetitive task of cutting carrots into bite sized cubes, or very deliberately slicing an onion, sliver at a time. Force of habit from working too many Sunday morning shifts at restaurants, I suppose.

So it makes sense that turkey soup is up there on my list of Thanksgiving leftovers. How shocked I was when I realized that we don't have a recipe for it on the site!

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As far as leftovers recipes goes, it's pretty much a no-brainer. You have the turkey carcass lying around, so all you need is a bit of store-bought or homemade chicken broth to simmer it in and you'll end up with a flavorful turkey base in just about an hour. Meanwhile, carrots, celery, onions, and some chopped up lardons of bacon are my go-to addition, though really any leftover vegetables will work. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, brussels sprouts leaves, whatever you got, the soup pot can take it. Heck, you can even dump some gravy in there if you'd like.

The beauty with Thanksgiving food is that we're used to mashing all those flavors together on one plate, which means they'll work just as well in one bowl.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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