I just love Thansgiving! Ever since I was a young child, it has been one of my favorite days of the year. Even though my parents were not born in the United States or raised with the tradition of Thanksgiving, it was always a special day in their home, filled with the aromas of Thanksgiving food.
My parents did not eat turkey until they came to the States, because there was no turkey available in Hungary or Czechoslovakia, where my parents grew up. But my mom made the most delicious turkey, moist and flavorful; and the sides were as delicious as the turkey. Sweet potatoes with an orange and honey sauce, cranberry relish and stuffing. These are the same recipes we used for the traditional Thanksgiving dinners that we sold at Hungarian Kosher Foods for so many years.
The one new tradition that my husband and I initiated is Turkey Soup - for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Using the leftover carcass from the Turkey and adding cut up vegetables, every year we make a soup that is rich and delicious - just extending the Thanksgiving tradition for a bit longer.
Happy to share this recipe with you - not in an exact form, but just how we made it this year. Feel free to modify with any extra vegetables you love. It is important, though, to remember to wrap the carcass in cheesecloth, because the small bones will fall off and that makes the soup challenging to eat (as we have experienced in the past!)
We took the carcass from a 14 pound turkey and wrapped it in cheesecloth and put it in a 12 quart pot. Then we cut up 2 onions, 1 -2 large zuchinni, about 1 cup of cut fresh green beans, 2 carrots cut up, 2 stalks celery, 1 turnip, 1 parsnip, 1 celery root, 1/2 orange pepper, 1 sweet potato and fresh dill. Add the vegetables plus 2 x 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes to the pot. Now season. (Remember that the turkey bones have been seasoned when they were roasted.) (If you want it thicker just add some barley.) We added 1 tablespoon salt, about 1 tablespoon each of onion soup mix and Lawry's seasoned salt, and about 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce. Add 8-10 cups of water or enough to cover.
Cover and bring to a boil. We let it cook for about 4 hours. After 2 hours, taste the soup and adjust the seasonings.