I was still testing the limits of my stretch pants after last night’s dinner when I got down to the second stage of Thanksgiving dinner: turkey soup.

I follow Lidia Bastianich’s example of making sure to use as much as possible of the food I’m fortunate enough to have. For the past few weeks I’ve been collecting soup greens–the tops of leeks, carrot and zucchini butts, and whatever else hasn’t made it into a salad, and I’ve saved them in the freezer. Last night they came to good use when I put them, and the turkey bones, into a big pot with water and let everything simmer together.

When I make the Thanksgiving bird, I make a paste of butter, olive oil, and fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. All that goes under the turkey’s breast skin and over everything else, so the soup is already seasoned–no need to add anything. I let the bones and greens simmer for about 45 minutes and then used a slotted spoon to take out all the veggies (because nobody gets that excited over the cauliflower stem, even though it’s perfectly good). I let the bones cool off and then picked everything useable off them and tossed it back into the soup. Voila–three quarts of turkey-laden broth! Now I can put in more vegetables, as well as rice or noodles or whatever my soup-loving heart desires.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I’d love to hear about your creative uses for leftovers. We have a pile of turkey here and no idea what to do with it … except maybe to do Thanksgiving 2: The Sequel.

Happy long weekend, everyone!