Monday, October 14, 2013

Après Holiday Soup

When it comes to the holidays, my family never does anything halfway. Why only host one festive feast in December, when you can have three (Italian-style Christmas Eve, Christmas morning brunch and my stepdad's birthday bash), and why not triple stack Canadian Thanksgiving with two turkey dinners and a huge family birthday? Since our parents are divorced, my sister and I also have the situation of multiple families to feast with. While neither of us eat the traditional accoutrements of holiday dinners (she might have a bit of turkey with her buttered spaghetti), that doesn't mean we don't get sent home with leftovers. Thankfully, holiday leftovers are generally versatile, and between curries, casseroles, stir-fries and soups like this one we manage to finish one holiday's glut before the next one rolls in! 

The first thing I always do with my holiday remnants is turkey stock. This on its own is reason enough to host a dinner, since with the bones and maybe an onion and some carrots you have a rich, flavourful base for sauces, gravies, soup and rice dishes that needs almost no attention (especially if you make it in a crock-pot). Then, I take stock of what veggies were leftover from the side dish prep, pick a starch that is ideally not plain white potatoes (since while they are good, after 3 days of them you start to get tired of mashed, roasted, boiled... tubers). 

Apres Holiday Soup

Usually the "re-purposing" meal I default to is soup, since it's a great catch all for ingredients (both leftovers and those "bottom of the box" pantry staples you may or may not have forgotten about). When I set about making this year's first turkey concoction, I was able to toss in the last of a bag of adzuki beans, a lone sweet potato, chopped-but-never-used leeks, carrots and celery from stuffing, and the last of our green beans and peas along with the chopped meat. I was lucky enough to snap up some delicious Ontario garlic at the market too, so a head of roasted cloves found their way into the pot along with most of the herb garden. This would have been well and good enough on its own, but to bump up the heartiness and stretch the goodness further, I chucked in some multigrain pasta at the very end. It's hard to resist a soup with so much going on - even if it's all leftovers from the week before!

What's your favourite thing to do with holiday leftovers?

Après Holiday Soup
Serves 10
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 large stalks celery, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
19 oz no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 cups water
5 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 head roasted garlic (about 15 cloves)
1 large sweet potato (350g), peeled and diced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
1 cup multigrain pasta (I used Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Flax Omega-3 rotini, in the US it goes by the Barilla brand name)
1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
175g green beans
285g cooked skinless turkey breast meat
salt and pepper
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, leek, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes, until onion has begin to colour.
  3. Add tomatoes, water, stock, adzuki beans, garlic, sweet potato, herbs and chili powder.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the pasta, peas, beans and turkey.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes, until pasta is cooked.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add lemon zest and juice and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 177.2
Total Fat: 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 12.7 mg
Sodium: 740.8 mg
Total Carbs: 28.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Protein: 11.4 g