As I ponder these segments on food, friends, & hospitality…the idea of leftovers came to mind. We all have them, and they are not all food related either.
The Idea is what to do with life that is LEFT after the life you knew is OVER. Life is not stagnant. It is constantly changing, & we humans do NOT like change unless it is OUR choice.
After the sudden death of my husband, I had to totally regroup & figure out who I was from that point on. I’m still not sure of this some days. *grin* BUT what I AM sure of is that the TRUTH is God’s Word, the bible, is a ‘lamp unto my feet, & a light unto my path.’
I have also learned that people & activity DO help!! Finding something to do & someone understanding to do it with make a difference-If you can do for someone else, that is even better!
I invited 3 couples over for dinner for a “leftover” party. Now I could have argued with myself that being widowed & having couples over might be a little odd, BUT in entertaining folks in my home for years, I have observed that the men tend to talk about “guy stuff” while the women group together to enjoy some “girl time.”
I served a Turkey Pot Pie soup that used up all of the gravy, green beans, turkey, corn & mashed potatoes from our Thanksgiving meal.
I even cut out leaf & acorn shapes from a frozen pie crust, baking it as the garnish to be scattered over the top of the soup. They were very easy & a conversation starter for sure. People DO notice those little details I love so much. :-)
I am post the ORIGINAL recipe that was the inspiration for using up those holiday leftovers, along with my variation using leftovers.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 quarts water
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, split
1 tablespoon bouillon flavoring (or more to taste)
1/4 cup butter
1 small white onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery (1/2 cup), diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 1/2 pounds frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup Half & Half cream
Pinch sea salt
1 store-bought pie crust
Add diced potatoes to a large bowl filled with cold water. Set aside.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to poach; about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Continue to simmer the broth, adding the bouillon until reduced by half, about 10 more minutes. Dice the chicken when cooled.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the celery cooking until translucent, 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and whisk until it forms a roux. Add the poultry seasoning and pepper; cook for 3 more minutes.
Whisk the roux into the broth and bring back up to a boil. Drain the potatoes. Add the potatoes and the chicken to the broth over low heat. Stir in the frozen vegetables. Place a lid on top and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the half & half and cook for 5 more minutes.
Preheat the oven as directed on the pie crust package.
Lay the pie crust on a baking sheet and place into the oven. Cook according to package instructions, or until the pie crust is golden brown. When the crust has cooled, break up into pieces.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the pie crust.
NOTE: This is how I used up my leftovers…Start with 2 qts chicken or turkey broth. Heat to simmering. Look over your leftovers. You will need about 4-6 cups total. If needed, toss in frozen mixed vegetables to the broth to make up the difference. You can use canned potatoes or fresh raw potatoes. Simmer them with the broth/vege mixture.
Follow above recipe for the onions & celery. Add to broth with veges. Add your leftovers of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, & corn. (The mashed potatoes will thicken the soup, but you can add instant potato flakes if needed to thicken it more.)
When the frozen veges are tender, add the half & half, adjust seasonings by adding more bouillon, chicken soup base, or turkey gravy mix, if needed.
I heat up leftover cornbread dressing or stuffing, then pour the soup over it to serve. Pie crust garnish is optional.
*Cranberry Apple relish complimented it perfectly