My favorite part of Thanksgiving is making turkey soup a few days later out of the turkey carcass. Usually I just make regular soup, like making chicken soup — carcass in a stock pot with a lot of water, plus an onion, couple carrots, couple stalks of celery, about half a bulb of garlic, salt and pepper, simmer all day, strain. (I have a stock pot with a strainer insert that makes this easy.) If you wait to fridge it all overnight before eating it, you can skim the fat off the top so it’s not as greasy. (Tall and narrow containers are better than short and fat ones; the thicker the layer of cooled fat is, the easier it is to remove.) Then sometimes I’ll add back the carrots, whatever turkey meat is left over at that point, and maybe some potato, and stick-blend it all to make the soup a little thicker.
This time, I was talking to my friend Mimi Tulane a few days ago, and mentioned that I hadn’t made turkey soup yet, and that I still had the sweet potatoes to do as well. (I have some health issues that make it not-smart (on a Running To The ER For IV Meds not-smart) to eat a lot at one sitting, so doing the turkey and stuffing and half a dozen sides all in one meal is kind of pointless.) So I was blathering away in e-mail and I guess I didn’t make things clear, because Mimi wrote back and said she’d never heard of turkey-sweet-potato soup before, but it sounded like it could be good.
Of course I’m reading this and I start laughing and go to type an explanation, but then I stop and think. Huh, that does sound like it could be good. [bemused smile]
I tried it. It’s awesome.
I made my turkey soup — the broth version, all the solids removed — then baked a couple of sweet potatoes until they were very soft. I heated up enough of the skimmed broth to fill a stew-size pot about two-thirds, then put the sweet potato flesh in and hit it (carefully) with a stick blender until there were no chunks visible. Then I added milk (about an inch and a half in that pot; probably like two or three cups? sorry, I don’t measure) and blended it again.
It was really wonderful. My husband was raving about it all day, and he’s not really much of a soup person. It’s meaty from the turkey, with some sweetness from the sweet potatoes, and some richness from the milk. I had more later with cut up pieces of leftover turkey in it, and that’s good too. I imagine anything you’d usually put into turkey soup would be good — potatoes, carrots, pasta, rice, whatever you’re into.
This is great. Seriously, next time you make a turkey, try it. And thanks, Mimi — you’re brilliant. 🙂