After the meal has been prepared and the dishes cleared from the table, there is one final thing I do before I collapse onto the sofa on Thanksgiving Day.
I make soup.
Well, I don’t actually make the entire soup, but I make the beginning of soup. I make turkey stock. Every year I try to talk myself out of doing it because I really don’t feel like doing ANYTHING after I’ve spent the whole day cooking a huge dinner and trying to be thankful. But it is just too easy, and I love having it to use in Turkey Noodle Soup or Turkey Pot Pie when I’m trying to get rid of a few more leftovers.
This is so simple, and it almost counts as “clean-up”. I start by getting out my crock pot. When I’m picking the last of the meat off the bones to bag up and put into the fridge, I drop those empty bones into the pot (that’s the clean-up part). Also, throughout the day when I’m peeling onions or cleaning celery and carrots, I’ll wash them very well and save the trimmings to throw into the pot with the bones. (I hope that doesn’t gross you out!)
The bones and veggies get covered with water and cooked until I’m ready to go to bed. If I’m in no mood to strain turkey stock, I just take the crock pot insert out to the chilly Ohio garage to stay cold until morning. It may need reheated before straining. Since I rarely have room in my refrigerator to house a big ‘ol container of stock, I let it cool, if needed, and pop it into the freezer to be used in the coming days.
Now, here’s the recipe (without all the commentary):
- turkey bones from roasted turkey
- turkey neck and giblets, if desired
- fresh herbs, such as parsley and thyme, if desired
- 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 onion, each washed and cut in half
- washed trimmings from carrots, celery, and onions
- Place all ingredients into slow cooker and add 12-cups water, or enough to cover. Cook on low for 6-12 hours. Strain and discard solids. Allow to cool before refrigerating or freezing.