By the time the Thanksgiving feast was over, probably the best you could do was muster the energy to cover the partially carved turkey and stash it in the refrigerator. Today, after removing the remaining meat, don't be tempted to just discard the carcass--instead, use it to make a pot of hearty soup. (If that sounds like too much trouble, freeze the carcass for a couple of weeks, then thaw it and follow the same procedure.)
Place the carcass in a large stockpot, breaking it into pieces, if desired, and add water to cover (Step 1). Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface (Step 2).
Add an onion, carrot, bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, six peppercorns and a celery heart (Step 3). Continue to simmer, uncovered, two to three hours, adding more water if necessary.
Strain the broth (Step 4), discarding the carcass and cooked vegetables. If necessary, add water to the broth to measure eight cups and return it to the stockpot along with chopped celery and sliced carrots (Step 5), then diced turkey (Step 6). Season to taste with salt and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender.
Meanwhile prepare the dumplings, mixing the ingredients just until moistened. Bring the soup to a boil and drop the dumpling mixture by tablespoons (Step 7) into the soup. Reduce the heat to simmering, cover and cook 12 to 15 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with two to three dumplings. Garnish with chopped parsley.
TURKEY FRAME SOUP WITH DUMPLINGS
1 roasted turkey carcass
1 celery heart, with leaves
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, quartered
1 small bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced carrots
3 cups diced cooked turkey
Place turkey carcass in large stockpot, breaking into pieces, if desired. Add enough water to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Skim off any scum that rises to surface. Add celery heart, quartered onion and carrot, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. Simmer, uncovered, 2 to 3 hours, adding more water if necessary.
Remove carcass and discard. Strain broth, discarding cooked vegetables. If necessary, add water to broth to measure 8 cups and return to kettle.
Add chopped celery, sliced carrots and turkey. Season to taste with salt. Simmer soup while preparing Dumplings.
Drop dumpling mixture by tablespoons into boiling soup. Cover and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Makes about 8 servings.
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Saute onion in butter in small skillet until tender. Remove from heat and stir in milk and oil.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and parsley in medium bowl. Add onion mixture to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Makes 12 to 15 dumplings.
Suggestions for column topics may be sent to Back to Basics, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.