Day 335–Turkey Noodle Soup

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I stand by the anecdotal findings of Jewish mothers everywhere that chicken soup has healing properties. Same goes for turkey soup, but that is a little more unusual to find unless it’s shortly after Thanksgiving. There is something so satisfying about a bowl of homemade chicken/turkey noodle soup that even if you’re still sick, there is a little warm spot in your soul that feels better. I don’t get the same feeling from canned soup and I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because homemade soup, especially if you’re using homemade stock, has a richness and complexity that canned soup just doesn’t have. Or maybe it’s because when I make soup I can add as much of the good stuff (in my case turkey and noodles) as I want, so my soup is just the way I like it.

Last turkey post. Promise. We used up every bit of our Thanksgiving turkey and finished up with making stock from the carcass using THIS basic recipe for chicken stock. I had to break out my canning pot to make the stock because our turkey was so large. Now we have a few gallons of stock for the freezer and enough left over to make this turkey noodle soup. We’re eating a good bit of the soup this weekend and will freeze some for a day when the weather is brutal or someone is sick and we need a quick comfort fix.

This recipe is entirely flexible. You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste and what happens to be fresh at your market. You can also cut this recipe in 1/2 or by 1/4 to suit your household size and what you feel up to cooking. In our case, we made a ton (well, 2 gallons) of soup and used up our leftover Thanksgiving vegetables plus some of the summer green beans and corn from our stash in the freezer. Totally worth it.

A note about amounts. I like my soup very thick with lots of noodles and enough stock to keep everything moist. If you like a very broth-y soup, you can just cut back on some of the vegetable and noodle amounts or add more stock at the end.

Turkey Noodle Soup (makes about 2 gallons)

  • 16 c. chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 c. green beans
  • 2 heads of baby bok choi, washed well, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 c. corn
  • 2-4 cups leftover, cooked turkey or chicken (I didn’t measure, I just used whatever we had left)
  • 8 oz. ribbon or egg noodles
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the stock.
  2. While stock is warming, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 2-3 minutes, until soft.
  3. Add the carrots and celery to the pan and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
  4. Add the chopped bok choi, stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add cooked vegetables to the stock along with any other vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add turkey/chicken and continue simmering for another 15 minutes or so.
  8. Add noodles and simmer until noodles are done. They will swell up and absorb a good deal of the stock. If you need more stock, add water or (if you have it) more poultry stock to suit your taste.
  9. Remove the bay leaves and any other large pieces of herbs you may have in the pot.
  10. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate to reheat the next day (this is always better).

Congratulations! You are now a healer 🙂

Day 332–Turkey Hash with Egg

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Turkey hash is one of our favorite leftover dinners following Thanksgiving. It really is pure comfort food–a mix of onion, celery, carrots, turkey, broth, and potatoes. You could even add rice or southern dumplings to this and it would be amazing. Actually, you could add pretty much whatever you want or whatever you happen to have handy. This dish is all kinds of flexible. I like that about it.

Usually I make this with thinly sliced red potatoes, but this year I have lots of sweet potatoes on hand, so I decided to change things up a bit. We also have some amazingly delicious, farm fresh eggs from pasture-raised chickens. I saw THIS recipe on Sugar Dish Me’s blog and thought–hmmmm, eggs on hash. Yes, that sounded like a great plan! Although Ellie wasn’t sure about the changes to one of her favorite seasonal meals, we all thought this was delicious and different enough that we didn’t feel like we were eating leftovers!

Turkey Hash (serves 4)

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 ribs of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine or 1 tbsp. dried sage
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 cups chicken or turkey stock, divided
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • Kosher/sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium or medium high heat. When oil is warm, add onions. Cook for about 4 minutes, until translucent and soft.
  2. Add the celery and carrots. Stir well and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Add diced sweet potatoes, 1 cup of stock and sage and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Add more stock if pan begins to dry out.
  4. Add turkey and continue cooking for about 20 minutes. The mixture should be very thick, almost like a super thick stew. Check for seasoning and season again if needed. Keep warm.
  5. In a smaller saute pan, cook eggs to according to your preference (Ellie likes hers fried, I like mine over easy).
  6. Spoon hash into serving bowls, then top each with an egg.
  7. Serve immediately.

Day 327–Starting Week 48–Budget and Menu

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Ellie making stuffing, which we are still enjoying!

This week following Thanksgiving is a “use up what we have” week. We have lots of leftover bits of things–vegetables, turkey, ham, bread–and this week is going to make good use of them rather than spending more money on groceries! Thankfully, my family loves turkey leftovers 🙂 By mid-week, I should have a fair amount of turkey stock put up in the freezer to use later as well! Since I’m trying to really use just what we already have, I’m making some recipe substitutions here and there and hope that in the end, it will all work out 🙂

Our spending for this week is low–$31.54! That includes “paying” ourselves back for stock up vegetables that we froze over the summer!

  • Trader Joes (tortillas, cheese, noodles, onions, Greek yogurt): $16.54
  • Mitchell’s freezer (green beans, jalapeno, tomatoes, field peas, corn): $15.00

What are we having? Here is our post-Thanksgiving week leftover festival 🙂 Recipes to follow.

  • Monday–Turkey and sweet potato hash with egg (a variation of THIS recipe) and broccoli
  • Tuesday–Ham and field peas, sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday–Scout night–everyone’s on their own
  • Thursday–Southwestern turkey and veggie casserole
  • Friday–Leftover casserole
  • Saturday–Turkey noodle soup, grilled cheese

What is your favorite way to use up holiday leftovers?