I’m in it for the soup

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner last weekend. Well, half of it, at least: a huge bird (done simply, with butter on top and riesling in the pan) and a giant tray of stuffing studded with mushrooms and apples, crumbled cornbread, onions, and sage. It was for a series I’m writing for Serious Eats, and it was the first time I’ve entertained since starting my new job over there.

I have to say, as good as that turkey and stuffing was (and it was, especially the stuffing), I’m really in it for the soup. I started a huge stockpot full in the morning, tossing in a few extra turkey necks and legs, then adding the neck of the turkey I was roasting, and then, ultimately, adding the carcass of the roasted turkey to simmer away while we ate dessert. The secret to good stock is time, though I have discovered I also prefer it with a fair amount of celery and carrot in the mix.

Once I was stocked up with stock, I was armed for this week’s dinners. This easy, healthy soup is exactly what I needed (and exactly what we’ll all need post-Thanksgiving.) It’s as much greens as soup, with a shower of Parmesan on top. You could add white beans, or shredded leftover turkey, but it was wonderful without them.

Simple Kale and Turkey Soup
serves two

4 cups homemade turkey broth
1 bunch kale (Red Russian or Black preferred)
1 cup small shell pasta
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
for serving: freshly grated Parmesan
optional: white beans or cooked turkey pieces

Bring a small pot of water to boil for the pasta. In a separate pot, bring broth to a simmer and turn down to low. Wash kale, remove stems, and cut into ribbons. Cook pasta according to package directions. If using beans or turkey pieces, add to broth to warm.

When the pasta is 5 minutes from being done, stir kale into the turkey broth to wilt. Add garlic slices. When pasta is done, stir it into the soup along with salt and pepper to taste. Top with Parmesan.

In soup

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