Next Thursday is a blue ribbon food event in the United States. Families and friends will gather to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner; a meal where all cooks who love preparing food will channel his or her favorite chef, recreate mom's signature dish or embark on creating a culinary journey of their own. Beginning this weekend, culinary craftsmen will be shopping, chopping, mixing, stirring, basting and baking until their Thanksgiving masterpiece will be displayed on the good china in the dining room. Success will be measured by the number of times these words are spoken, "I am so stuffed. I won't be able to eat for a week." Of course, everyone knows that's not true because in an hour or so those same people will meander back into the kitchen to sneak another piece of pie or munch on a small bowl of stuffing.
But today, I am thinking about the day AFTER Thanksgiving. You put your heart and soul into preparing the perfect Thanksgiving meal and the next day, you got nothing. I mean who wants to go near the kitchen on Friday after spending hours the day before putting together a gigantic feast. A feast whose cleanup alone is a testimony to the effort required to pull it all off with taste and style. Plus Christmas is on the horizon and the Black Friday sales are calling your name. Well, I got two words for you...turkey soup.
Yes, I know that turkey soup is usually reserved for the left over spot a week after Thanksgiving but I beg you to reconsider. Soup is nurturing, calming and in the case of this recipe easy. All you need is a crock-pot and a few basic ingredients so that you are free to shop, lounge or work on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is a great tasting soup that will remind your spouse and family that good food does mean love. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Slow Cooker Turkey Soup
2 stalk celery, diced
1 cup of diced onions
4 cloves of minced garlic
4 bay leaves
2 cups of peeled and cubed potatoes.
4 peeled and sliced carrots
1 teaspoon of white pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste
4 cups of chicken broth
2-4 pounds of leftover turkey
1. Add all ingredients except the turkey to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until the carrots are tender.
3. Add left over turkey 30 minutes before serving and cook until thoroughly heated.
**I told you this is easy and it is but if your arms aren't sore from all the Thanksgiving preparing, you may add an additional step by sautéing in 2 tablespoons of olive oil the celery, onion and garlic before adding it to the crock-pot. This adds a few calories and takes another ten minutes but I think it brings out the flavor of the vegetables particularly the garlic.
***If you and your family enjoy a touch of spice, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of crushed pepper flakes.