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Again this year we celebrated Thanksgiving late and ended up having our turkey dinner on Sunday instead of Thursday. Since we’ve been living in Germany I have been eager to share this North American holiday with my friends and family who are living here. However, since it’s not a holiday here I invariably postpone the merriment of a full day of cooking and baking until the weekend following, and this year was no exception. The only difference was that our daughter Anna was home sick this past weekend and so we decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner with just the three of us at home. It was nicer in a way not to have to stress too much about feeding multitudes of extra guests and only focus on what my husband Thomas, daughter Anna and I would reasonably be able to eat. With less stress, and less food to prep, it was a much more enjoyable “family” day, even though it made me a little sad not to be able to share our lovely and bountiful Thanksgiving dinner with others. And that’s what the holiday is about isn’t it? So I’ll share with you this soup that I make every year after we’ve had our turkey dinner. I love this soup so much and look forward to it even more than the turkey each year…

Homemade Turkey Soup

2 liters homemade Turkey Stock*

Left over Turkey cut into bite sized pieces

2 Onions chopped

3 Celery stalks (with leaves) chopped

4 Carrots chopped

6 or 8 sprigs of fresh Thyme

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Little Pasta like shells or stars or elbows

Grated hard Cheese (optional)

In a large soup pot or dutch oven heat oil on medium-high heat until shimmering and hot. Add the onions and saute until almost translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and saute while stirring occasionally for about another 5 minutes. Add turkey stock, turkey pieces and thyme. Bring pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the soup over a medium-low heat until all the vegetables are tender but not mushy, about one hour. Remove the thyme stems and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked little shaped pastas and grated hard cheese, like Romano, Grana Padano or Parmesan sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

*Turkey Stock

1 Turkey carcass, all cooked meat and stuffing removed

4 Onions

4-5 Carrots

4-5 Celery stalks

Enough Water to cover

Peel the onions and cut in half or quarters.  Wash the carrots and cut the tops off. Wash celery stalks and cut in half. Put everything together in a large stock pot with enough water to just cover everything. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat with the lid tilted for at least 3 hours. Strain out all solids and discard then skim any excess fat from the top of the broth. Use immediately to make soup or freeze in airtight containers for up to several months.