Thanksgiving, Leftovers, and Roasted Turkey Soup with Potato-Parsnip Dumplings

Adrian and I have soooo many delicious leftovers from Thanksgiving. So I figured, instead of just rehashing Thanksgiving dinner for the entire weekend, why not play with the leftovers?

First off, let me tell you what we did make for Turkey Day! For the past several years I’ve been making Tom Colicchio’s Herb-Butter Turkey with Gravy and his recipe works like a charm. BUT, since 2015, I have incorporated a dry brine from Serious Eats. If you've never heard of dry brining, you HAVE TO try it! It changed everything for me (unlike wet brining, which is messier and doesn't do much for tenderness at all in my opinion). I’ve never had a more tender turkey in my life. While some of your guests may not even look forward to the dried out turkey breast they know from past experience, they will surely want to be at your house every year if you utilize Tom’s recipe and the dry brine. Yum, yum, yum.

Next up, we made parsnip mashed potatoes, haricot vert, the best cranberry sauce EVER, and some amazing honeyed carrots. The mashed potatoes were so spectacular (just a little sweeter than regular mashed potatoes), and may I say, even a little more nutritious? The honeyed carrots were a new recipe we tried this year from Williams Sonoma. We weren't disappointed. Adrian and I could have died and gone to heaven after eating them. Seriously, look at this picture below!

Of course, when making something like a turkey, I want to use the whole bird in an effort to achieve some kind of sustainability, if that’s even possible on Thanksgiving. So I made a turkey stock from the New York Times. It’s super fabulous, and just made sense to make a soup with the stock and leftover parsnips and potatoes.

I was actually planning to make Ottolenghi’s vegetarian Parsnip dumplings in broth on this rainy day weekend, knowing I’d have some root vegetable leftovers. But since I already labored over the stove for 3 hours making a turkey stock, why spend more time on a vegetarian stock? So I decided to hybridize his recipe with my Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. I’ll make his version down the road for sure, but not this weekend! 

While this dish is quite different from Ottolenghi's with the shredded turkey and meaty stock, I am happy to have his inspiration. Adrian and I just finished eating our first bowls on our porch outside, watching the rain water our garden and listening to a Songs of Old Russia album. So perfect. This soup is sooo divine, and adding the shredded turkey brought on a whole new layer of yumminess. 

What an incredible few days off it's been! I'd love to have four-day weekends more often in my life. But then again, wouldn't we all? At least I know I can cook up some great things when I have time off. No better way to spend a holiday weekend.


Roasted Turkey Soup with Potato-Parsnip Dumplings

Active Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour   
Serves 4

1/2 lb russet potato, peeled and diced
1.5 cups parsnips, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup self-rising flour (see note)
1/3 cup semolina flour
1 egg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups (2 quarts) homemade turkey broth or chicken broth
3 to 4 cups roasted turkey or chicken, shredded, both white and dark meat are fine
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

Boil the potato, parsnip and garlic in salted water until soft, about 10 mintues. Drain. Wipe moisture out of pan and return the vegetables. Add butter and sauté over medium heat for a few more minutes. Mash with a potato masher or ricer. Whisk in the flour, semolina, egg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30-60 minutes.

In a medium pot, bring broth to a simmer. Add shredded turkey and keep on very low heat to keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In another pan, bring some salted water to a light simmer. Using a teaspoon measurer, portion out dumplings and move to a plate. Add dumplings to the pot of simmering water. Once the dumplings come up to the surface, leave them to simmer for 30 seconds, then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.

Ladle the broth and shredded turkey into bowls. Place the dumplings in the broth. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Note: To make self-rising flour, combine 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, and a pinch of salt.