Tuesday, January 6, 2015


We all have our favorite holiday recipes, but how about afterwards? I'm no longer excited about making cookies or a gingerbread house, but I do look forward to using up the leftover Christmas turkey and leftover New Year's ham. I feel deprived on the rare occasions when we go somewhere for those dinners so that I don't have leftovers!

My favorites are probably the soups. There is something very satisfying about cooking down a turkey carcass or ham bone to get the nice rich broth. (Incidentally, I note that popular culture now calls this "bone broth." We always just called it broth, because that was the only way to get it!)

Several people have been kind enough to ask for my recipes, so here are two--one for turkey and one for ham.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Either boil down the turkey bones for several hours or use prepared chicken broth. You can also make this soup with chicken instead of turkey.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a soup pot over low/medium heat. Stir in 1 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup of chopped celery, and 1/2 cup of chopped or shredded carrots. Saute gently so that they are cooked but not browned. Add 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and saute a few more minutes. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the veggies, stirring constantly. When it begins to bubble and thicken, slowly pour in 5-6 cups of turkey or chicken broth, continuing to stir. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add 1 package of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix or prepare your own. I prefer using the Uncle Ben's because it includes delicious seasonings. Add 1-2 cups chopped turkey or chicken. Simmer for about an hour. This may thicken more than you like as the rice absorbs the liquid, so I usually add water or broth as needed. Enjoy!
Ham, Bean and Potato Chowder
Cook the ham bone in boiling water for about an hour. Remove from soup pot and pull away the meat, removing the fat and chopping the meat into bite-size pieces.
Strain the broth as needed and put 3-4 cups into the soup pot. Then add 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom or celery soup. Stir in 4 potatoes, chopped, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, and 1/2 cup of chopped celery. Allow to simmer for about an hour, then add 1 cup of corn and 1 can of drained white beans and bring to simmer again. Put 1/2 cup of water into a cup and add 1/4 cup of flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually add this to the soup, stirring as the soup thickens. Season with 1 T dried parsley and black pepper to taste. (I seldom add extra salt, as the chowder is salty enough.) Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender. This chowder can also be made in a slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
I made this for our football-watching meal along with hot cornbread. Perfect after a season of over-eating!