Recover in style
I don’t know about you but after the holiday weekend I felt like I needed to be rolled back into bed to sleep off some of my excess indulgences. Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving (and break out the stretchy pants) but we also showed off the best of the German Christmas market fare to our out of town guests. This basically involved spending the rest of the weekend trapped in a sort of (wonderful) eating marathon.
If you don’t know about German Christmas markets all I can say is, come now! I think that Germany is the best place in the world to enjoy the Christmas season; Hannover is decked to the nines and all of the vendors have come out to tempt even the most stalwart soul into a mug of sweet Gluehwine, a potent mulled wine, or a plate of crisp Reibekuchen, decadent golden potato pancakes served with applesauce.
It was a delicious weekend but afterwards what I craved more than anything was something nourishing and light to put myself back on track. Faced with a fridge full of leftovers (we hadn’t been eating at home obviously) soup was a clear solution. Pho was an even better option. To start I made my own stock with the leftover turkey by covering the bones in water, tossing in a few celery sticks and then left it to cook for 3-4 hours. After straining the broth I had something rich and flavorful, the perfect base for my Pho.
I am by no means schooled in the art of Asian cooking. This recipe from Food52 however, is easy to follow and the ingredients were a cinch to pick up at my local grocery store. Given that I live in Germany I figure it can only get easier wherever you are! The only substitutions I made were to use green cabbage in place of the kale (no kale to be had in Germany) and to omit the star anise (I’m not a fan). I also upped the fish sauce by another tablespoon; I would advise starting with one tablespoon and then keep tasting the broth and adding more if you think it needs it.
If you still happen to have any leftover turkey (or stock!) please make this soup. It is hands down the best leftover turkey recipe I have ever tried. It’s delicious and filling enough for dinner without weighing you down in the slightest (a huge plus as far as I’m concerned). If you don’t happen to have any leftover turkey don’t fret, this soup would be equally good made with roast chicken and a homemade stock or a good quality store-bought option.
Recipe adapted from Food52, Winnie Ab
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 quart homemade turkey stock
1 bunch green onions (green parts only for stock, reserve whites for garnish)
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 T fish sauce, or more to taste
1 cup green cabbage or kale
1/2 pound leftover turkey, shredded
1 bunch (2 oz) cellophane/ rice noodles
1/2 a lime cut in wedges
cilantro for garnish (optional)
Begin by toasting the spices over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Once the spices become fragrant remove from heat and set aside. Then in a soup pot add your stock, green onions, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
Taste broth for seasoning and adjust if needed. Next strain the broth. Add the cabbage and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the turkey and noodles. Remove pot from heat and let noodles soften for 3-5 minutes.
Ladle broth into two bowls and divide the noodles, turkey and cabbage between them. Garish with cilantro if using and a generous squeeze of lime.
Enjoy happily, you’re being healthy!