Reasons to make this soup:
1) If you have a turkey carcass, it's basically free.
2) It will not taste like Thanksgiving at all.
3) It will cure any cold you picked up from your relatives.
4) The broth, Oh!
5) Slurping is fun.
6) You won't need to leave your house. Hallelujah! Customize the bejeezus out of this pot of awesome. It'll still be awesome.
Since I am a terrible cook I haven't figured out how to cook everything in the same pan and have it all be perfectly done at the same time. I generally end up with everything overcooked and soggy while the last bit drags along. The fancy schmancy way you are served soup in fine restaurants then, has my name written all over it. How the waiter will bring you a bowl full of bits and a steaming crock of broth? They pour the broth on the bits and voila! Soup! The big secret, I figured out, is that this is a low-pressure way of ensuring every component of your soup is perfectly cooked without the pressure of keeping it hot. It also lets you work on your broth which is, of course, the star of the show.
First, make turkey stock. Boil your turkey carcass with a few peeled carrots, the inner stalks of a head of celery, half an onion or so and a handful of peppercorns. Boil gently for 1-4 hours. Strain into a large bowl without letting it tip into the drain. Trust me.
Since leftovers can be finicky, this recipe is at best, inexact. In the end, you want about a full cup of turkey and vegetables, plus a serving of noodles, and about two cups of broth per bowl.
In a non-stick pan, pour about a tablespoon of canola oil and press a large clove of garlic into it. Add a sprinkle of cayenne just to wake things up. Cook for 10 seconds on medium-high heat, moving the garlic around.
Repeat with unsalted grated carrots (no need for stock here though; carrots are plenty moist).
Now check on your stock. Remember, you want about a cup and a half to two cups per person, so keep boiling the stock down until you're at that volume. When you are, for two servings, grate a good tablespoon of fresh ginger into your broth (you can use dried if you like instead).
I keep my ginger peeled and wrapped in the freezer. It keeps for at least a year (apparently). The only thing I should warn you about is that when you are going to town grating that nub on a microplane grater, your fingers and thumb will be numbed by the frozen root. If you are not paying attention, you will have thumb soup.
Add a tablespoon or two of soy sauce, and start shaking in the fish sauce. I needed a half an inch of raw ginger root, grated, two tablespoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of fish sauce for two bowls. You will need to adjust your ratios depending on what flavors you have in your turkey stock. Keep a spoon ready, and keep tasting that brothy awesomeness until your leg involuntarily kicks and your fist involuntarily pumps. "Pow!"
Sriracha will add a wonderful bite, but know that many of the nuances of the broth will be lost if you overdo it with the hot stuff. A little dribble made mine amazing, and I put it on the table just in case. (And of course I used more at the table.)
|Dizzy with brothy anticipation.|
Yes, you got that right. Fry every component of the soup. Use American leftovers with Italian pasta for an Asian soup. Boil a whole pot of turkey stock into two bowls of soup. Cover it in soy sauce and fish sauce and Sriracha. You'll never guess you had no idea what you were doing. You'll heal the sick. Feed the hungry. And make a magical meal that, in a refreshing change from this weekend's usual leftover fare, will not taste like Thanksgiving turkey.