Today, the day after Thanksgiving, are you taking that picked apart carcass and making soup? No? Me neither, but to be fair, I haven’t hosted a Thanksgiving in years so I’m not usually left staring at stripped poultry bones the next day. I always go to someone else’s house, bring the pies and leave behind the leftovers. In some ways that’s good; no clean up to deal with. In other ways, it kind of stinks; no turkey-stuffing sandwiches. I also don’t get to make soup. No carcass means no soup. This year I’m traveling for the holiday and enjoyed my Thanksgiving meal in a restaurant so they’ll be none of this. I’m good with that but I do wonder where I might find a stuffing sandwich.
For those of you who are now, probably at this very moment, staring at that turkey carcass on the counter, I have an idea for you. Sure you can take that turkey stock you’ve slowly simmered all day and make some rather ordinary vegetable soup. But why not mix it up and make a nice, simple egg drop soup? You probably don’t want to spend too much time on meals after the blowout days prior and you likely don’t want anything overly complicated or complexly flavored. Just something nice, simple and nourishing while you watch 56 football games and think about your Christmas shopping.
It’s all really very simple. Simmer that turkey stock (here’s a great recipe for that) or use a good, low-salt purchased stock. The latter works well for us carcass-less people. Maybe I add a few coins of ginger to that stock for additional flavor, or a star anise pod if I’m feeling fancy. Next, a little bit of soy sauce and some cornstarch to thicken. Then comes the fun part … gently drizzle in beaten eggs and they magically cook into thin ribbons. I’ve yet to meet a kid that isn’t fascinated by this part. Next, I’ll add a little leftover turkey, maybe a pinch of scallions. Or I’ll slip in a cup of tofu, or a handful of spinach. But you don’t have to. It can be plain and simple, or gussied up and fancy. Whatever you like.
Then I’ll nestle into the couch with a bowl, usually still in my Pjs, and watch those aforementioned 56 football games. Makes me pretty damn happy. Christmas shopping, cookie baking and the endless to-do lists can wait. I’m eating my soup.
STRESS THERAPY BAKING FACTOR: WARMS THE SOUL. While you certainly don’t have to, using that carcass to make soup is very thrifty. Good for you. It also makes something very delicious, especially if you oven roast those bones first. Good flavor right there. Egg drop soup, that favorite from cheap buffets and lunchtime combos, is damn good. It’s one of those soups, simple and delicious, that warms you from the inside like a nice big hug. That it comes together so easily is all the more reason to make a quick pot. Why not? And if you have a bag of those crunchy wonton strips, it’s just like being in your favorite Chinese restaurant, only better.
Seven years ago: Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Six years ago: French Apple Tart
Five years ago: Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Four years ago: Kale & Squash Salad
Three years ago: Maple Bourbon Carrots
Two years ago: Baked Brie with Savory Fig Jam
Last year: Baked Corn Pudding
TURKEY EGG DROP SOUP – loosely based on this recipe/method
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 for a light dinner
Make sure you taste your stock before starting. Most homemade, and even some store-bought, can be quite bland. Be sure it’s well seasoned and tastes good before starting. This soup is simple and will only be as flavorful as the stock you start with.
4 cups (32 oz) turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
3 large eggs
shredded leftover turkey
sliced green onions
crunchy wonton strips
- Pour the strained stock (if homemade) into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
- If you want to add some extra flavorings – ginger, start anise, etc. – add now.
- Bring just to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the extra flavoring (if using) with a slotted spoon and discard. Taste and add salt or soy sauce as needed.
- Combine 1 Tablespoon of the cornstarch with ¼ cup the warm stock and whisk it until smooth (save the other teaspoon for the eggs).
- Whisk this mixture back into the stock and let simmer for a minute or two until the broth thickens a little no longer tastes starchy.
- Add the shredded turkey and half the scallions. Taste and add more soy sauce if needed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs with the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch until well combined.
- Reduce the heat to low and make sure the soup is at a bare simmer.
- This part is easier than it sounds – with one hand, hold a fork over the rim of the egg bowl and slowly pour the whipped eggs into the soup, through the fork tines, in a slow steady stream. At the same time with the other hand, gently stir the soup once or twice. Do not over stir or you’ll break up the eggs too much. Confused? Check out this photo to get a visual in your head.
- Let the soup stand, without stirring, for a few seconds to finish cooking the eggs.
- Serve immediately and garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil, the remaining scallions and crispy wonton strips.