Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup

For Thanksgiving this year and, with some of you behind me (no blame here), I went "cold turkey"--well, actually I went "no turkey".  Instead of the big bird, pork tenderloin was the center of attraction.  It was, living up to its name, tender and quite good.  The Baker prepared his renowned potatoes mashed with sauteed onions, crisp bacon and sour cream.  A simple broccoli salad gave a tasty touch of green to the plate and dear Jim brought his delicious cranberry relish.  He's been making that relish for our dinner for a very long time.  In the beginning, he and son Colin prepared it together.  Back then, our children were at the table as well.  They still are a big part of our conversation as we share their joys and concerns.

I digress!  What I'm getting at is this:  It's only the second Thanksgiving ever that I've not had turkey.  Since I am a January baby, I assume that I did manage a little turkey my first Thanksgiving.  The turkeyless day that really stands out was when we lived in Lubbock, Texas.  It was our third year there and we had a delicious meal planned with friends.  A fresh turkey had been ordered to be picked up on the Wednesday before the big day.  I had my grocery shopping excursion planned for Tuesday.  A sitter had been engaged to watch the boys (four and two at the time) while I shopped for the perfect fruits, vegetables and other foods for our table.

 Alas, it started to snow in the wee hours of Tuesday a.m.  It snowed and snowed and snowed.  The snow blew and blew and blew.  We were snowed in!  Even the clinic closed early and The Baker (before he was the baker) came home.  It took a long time as the roads were impassable.  The snow continued and so did the wind.  Let me cut to the chase here.  We had no turkey that year.  In fact, the only thing I could prepare (remember, I hadn't made the grocery trip yet) was potato soup!!  Yes, on that Thanksgiving day, we sat down to a beautifully set table and big bowls of potato soup!!

We finally had our Thanksgiving dinner the following Sunday with our friends.  I've made sure that every winter since, there's been a duck (takes less room than a turkey) in our freezer just in case. 

This year, I couldn't have my favorite leftover--a turkey sandwich on Black Friday while I curled up with a Christmas movie instead of heading out to shop.  I did, however, utilize a few leftovers and made a creamy and delicious vegetable soup--in homage to that long ago soup we enjoyed on the high plains of Texas during a blizzard.

There is no recipe involved here.  I saved the broccoli stems and a few florets.  Since the broccoli was very fresh, I didn't peel the stems.  Do cut off the dried ends if necessary.  I added a couple of small peeled potatoes just to give some body to the finished dish.  The rest of the ingredients included a medium yellow onion, a fat clove of garlic, a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves and about two cups of  chicken stock.

Give all a rough chop, saute the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent.  Add the rest of the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer.

Test the vegetables for doneness (well doneness) after half an hour.  I used my immersion blender on this pot and it worked very well.  I then added a splash of half and half (use whole cream or milk if you like) and it was a soup worthy of, well, a Thanksgiving blizzard!