This past weekend, it was Thanksgiving in Canada. A time to celebrate the harvest and be thankful for all we have. We don’t have the elaborate Pilgrim-filled folklore of our American neighbours to the south, so we have our Thanksgiving 6 weeks earlier. We can quietly celebrate up here in our Canadian way, saying “Sorry” for no reason and having maple syrup chugging contests (Note: We don’t really chug maple syrup in contests. It’s just a fun thing weird people like me tend to do in their spare time). That, and if we’re gonna honour the harvest we have to do it now because at the end of November most of Canada is under about a metre of snow….give or take 😉
I spent Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. My sis-in-law has the “Noah’s Ark” approach when it comes to what animals to serve, namely, ALL THE ANIMALS!!! Turkey, ham, meatballs, oftentimes lamb. It’s a carnivorous orgy of the flesh. No matter how many other friends my brother and his wife may invite, there’s always a mountain of leftovers. I came home with a bunch of leftover turkey and ham. I’ve already made an easy Denver omelette sandwich. Basically a scrambled egg filling with sautéed ham and peppers with shredded cheese. Brown cubed ham, sauté with chopped sweet bell pepper and add beaten eggs. Cook until the scrambled egg is softly cooked. Add shredded cheese off the heat and allow the residual heat of the pan to melt it. Serve it on a bun with tzatziki sauce (when I don’t make my own, I buy from awesome people at the local farmer’s market) and voila!
Anyways….I digress from what I was gonna get into. Tonight, I made a soup with a leftover turkey garnish to enhance the soup’s flavour. A savoury buttercup squash soup is accented with a sweet and spicy maple-ginger glazed turkey.
Buttercup Squash Soup with Maple Ginger Glazed Turkey
For the Buttercup Squash Soup:
1 tsp cold pressed canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup, peeled and chopped carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1 cup, peeled and chopped parsnips (about 3 medium parsnips)
1 softball-sized buttercup squash, halved, seeds removed, peeled and chopped (could also use acorn, butternut, Hubbard squash or any autumn/winter squash you choose. The overall volume of chopped squash should be about 1L/4 cups)
2 cups/500 mL chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 cups/750 mL water
1 tsp celery seeds
4 tsp dried sage (or 2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves)
1 tsp salt
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté until the onions are softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the parsnips and carrots and sauté for a further 5-7 minutes to soften but not brown. Add the stock, garlic, water, dried sage and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all of the ingredients are softened. Purée with a hand blender (or in a regular blender/food processor in batches) until smooth. Set aside and keep warm. Makes about 8 cups.
For the Maple Ginger Glazed Turkey:
5 cups leftover cooked turkey (or the same thing could be done with leftover shredded chicken, pot roast or crumbled, cooked sausage)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup and ginger over medium heat. Simmer for 7-10 minutes until the syrup thickens to a glaze. Add the paprika and stir to combine. Add the shredded turkey and stir to coat and glaze. Let it simmer a few minutes to thicken further and completely coat.
Ladle the soup in bowls and divide the Maple Ginger Glazed Turkey in the centre of each bowl. The soup should serve 4 as a main course. Some of the turkey will sink to the bottom of the soup but as you pile it in the centre, it will stay above the surface for presentation purposes. You’ll be digging and stirring the turkey through the soup as you eat it, so it doesn’t matter too much how it’s presented. It’s just dinner after all! 😉
By the way, the pile of turkey being shaped roughly like a Canadian maple leaf is purely coincidental. I’m just that Canadian that meat piles into a maple leaf shape naturally 😉
And if you really don’t want to make a soup for this glazed turkey component, just put it on a bun and call it a sandwich. It’s like pulled pork, but more maple-y, ginger-y good!