THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS are almost as big a tradition as the holiday itself.
After the novelty of turkey sandwiches, turkey salad and turkey casseroles dies down, use the carcass to make soup. Leftover soup can be frozen in dinner-size portions for up to three months. For a change, add cooked pasta, tortellini or rice to the soup and simmer until warm.
If you have turkey questions you can call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, 800-323-4848, today until 9 p.m. and tomorrow from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hot Line, 800-535-4555, will be open today until 5 p.m. and tomorrow from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
You can call the Reynolds Turkey Information Line, 800-745-4000, any time for a recorded message on defrosting and roasting turkey.
1 cut-up turkey carcass
Leftover gravy, meat and skin scraps
7 carrots, divided
3 leeks sliced
2 cups coarsely chopped celery, including leaves
4 boiling potatoes
Small handful of fresh parsley
6 crushed peppercorns
Cold water or stock
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 cups onions
12 mushrooms, quartered and previously sauteed, if desired
1 package frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Put carcass, other leftovers, four coarsely chopped carrots, leeks, celery, two peeled and halved potatoes, parsley and peppercorns in a large soup pot. Cover with cold water or stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for three to four hours, skimming frequently.
Pour through a strainer into a large bowl. Press down on solids to extract all liquid, using a large wooden spoon. Refrigerate until fat has risen to top and solidified enough to remove easily with a spoon.
Slice remaining three carrots into rounds and peel and quarter the remaining two potatoes. Return the broth to the soup pot, bring to a simmer and add carrots, potatoes and remaining tTC ingredients except peas. Simmer uncovered for one hour. Just before serving, add peas. Adjust seasoning and serve piping hot, accompanied by crusty bread. Serves eight. Leftovers can be frozen.
-- Adapted from "Thanksgiving Dinner" by Kathryn and Anthony Blue, Harper Collins Publishers, 1990.