Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I know your gastro sights on set on Christmas by now. Indeed, Thanksgiving is so last month.

But here's the thing: I have one serving left of Thanksgiving soup in my freezer. It is a coveted entree, and it's been sitting pretty in the front row of my frozen real estate.

Thanksgiving soup isn't new. A lot of people add chunks of leftover turkey to broth, maybe with some veg. People relish that kind of repurposing. Some more ambitious types might even make that broth from the bird bones, for added richness. As they should. Waste not, want not, right?

I challenge you to examine the cornucopia in the accompanying picture. What do you detect? The poetic onion peel almost looks like foliage. The red apple peel resembles peppy sprigs of cranberry.

It looks pretty, but basically, it's garbage juice.

I don't say this to repulse you, but merely to point out how people are forever throwing away perfectly flavorful and useful scraps. I'm talking carrot peel, apple peel, cabbage stubs, onion paper, poultry bones.

If you toss these scraps into a dutch oven with some bay leaves and peppercorns, fill it with water, bring it to a boil and let it reduce to half, then add more water, then reduce to half, then add more water, then maybe splash in some leftover white wine, drain and discard the scraps (they've now reached their trashy potential)...you'll eventually get a stock that tastes like Thanksgiving.

Round out the soup with some tender veggies and leftover turkey, and every spoonful will prolong those Thanksgiving memories. It will be the best rubbish water you've ever tasted.

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