Once the mandatory day-after turkey sandwiches have been consumed, I find the flavors of Thanksgiving start to become less and less appealing. The problem is my refrigerator is often still packed with leftovers.
That's when I start looking for clever ways to use them, and the soup pot is a good place to start.
It's ritual for many to take the remnants of their roasted bird and make soup. So this idea may not feel earth-shatteringly new, but I give it my own spin by taking the traditional post-Thanksgiving soup in an Italian direction with this week's Day-After Italian Wedding Soup.
Garlicky, brothy and packed with tiny meatballs, shredded turkey and greens, this soup is hearty enough to satisfy everyone in the family.
It's also a flexible recipe. The broth could come from your turkey or could be store-bought chicken broth. If there's no leftover turkey meat, rotisserie chicken works just as well.
The meatballs are made with both ground pork and beef, but the unseasoned meatloaf mix found in most grocery store meat counters is a great substitution.
Eggs are beaten with Parmesan cheese and swirled in at the end of the cooking process to create tiny strands that give the soup an added richness. If you don't enjoy eggs in your soup, you can leave them out (although I recommend you give them a try).
This recipe makes a large batch but freezes beautifully. If I know I'm going to freeze some, I will cook the pasta separately, adding a little to each bowl before ladling in the hot soup. I will do this even if I plan on refrigerating the leftovers. (It prevents the pasta from soaking up the broth and becoming mushy.) Just toss the remaining pasta with a little olive oil and freeze it in a separate container.
You could serve this with a crisp green salad, but I find crusty bread and glass of wine is all I need.
Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Instagram at @meredithdeeds.