The pumpkin pie has been served, the dishes are clean and the Thanksgiving holiday is officially over, but what are you to do with all of that leftover turkey? Although there is nothing like a great turkey sandwich, once you’ve had a few of those, it’s time to get creative. Today, in this final day of our Thanksgiving Series, we share with you a recipe for Turkey Soup With Kale by Alice Waters, the pioneer of California Cuisine and co-owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA.

“This is the soup I make the day after Thanksgiving, but it can be made any time you have a roasted duck or chicken carcass and some leftover meat.”

Considered to be one of the most influential people in the culinary world, Alice Waters has been called “the mother of American food”. After studying cooking as a student in France, Chef Waters returned to California in 1971 to open Chez Panisse.  In her return to the States, she was in search for the flavors she became familiar with in France, simple things like vegetables and fresh breads. Her search didn’t take her far, and she found that the people growing the freshest and most flavorful food were the small ranchers and organic farmers right in her backyard.  The shift of buying fresh ingredients directly from farmers was a revolutionary one for the culinary world, no longer were chefs relegated to what they could find at the supermarket or through distributors.

Chef Waters is one of the strongest and most influential proponents of organic foods, not only for the taste, but also for the benefit of the environment and people’s overall health. Her activism and devotion to this cause led her to the creation of The Chez Panisse Foundation and The Edible Schoolyard project. The mission of the Foundation is to transform public education by using food to teach, nurture, and empower young people. Waters is also a supporter of school lunch reform, and in 2009 she was the driving force behind President Obama planting the organic garden at the White House, which brought national attention to the cause.

Waters is also Vice President of Slow Food International, a nonprofit organization that promotes and celebrates local artisanal food traditions. As if that weren’t enough, she has found the time to author of over a dozen books, and was the first female chef to win the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef”, in 1992.

Additional awards and Accolades include:

  • Awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities by Princeton University, 2009
  • French Legion of Honor in, 2009
  • Inductee, California Hall of Fame, 2008
  • Co-recipient, with Kofi Annan, Global Environmental Citizen Award, 2008
  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Restaurant magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 2007
  • Founder, Sustainable Food Program at the American Academy in Rome, 2006
  • Force for Nature Award, Natural Resources Defense Council, 2004
  • Best Restaurant in America, Gourmet magazine, 2001
  • Founder, Yale Sustainable Food Project, Berkeley College, Yale University, 2003
  • Vice President, Slow Food International, Bra, Italy, 2003

The influence of Alice Waters on American food is clearly unrivaled, and for this she is a Woman You Should Know.

Chef Alice Waters’ Turkey Soup With Kale

“I always have Thanksgiving with my friends and everybody brings a dish. Fortunately, my friends are good cooks.”

Alice Waters Turkey & Kale SoupIngredients:
1 roasted turkey carcass
1 bunch lacinato kale, leaves torn from the stems and chopped coarse

For Stock
1/2 onion, peeled
1/2 carrot, peeled
1/2 stalk celery
6 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
3 quarts water

For Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
Add and cook, over medium heat, until very tender:
1 1/2 onions, peeled and diced
1 1/2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt

Pick all the meat from 1 roasted turkey carcass

Coarsely chop and set aside. Break up the carcass and put in large stockpot with the Stock Ingredients .

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, skim well, and cook for 2 hours. Meanwhile, heat,all of the Soup Ingredients in a large soup pot.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add Kale.

Cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Place a colander over the pot of diced vegetables and strain the turkey stock directly into the soup pot. Add the turkey meat and kale, taste for seasoning and serve hot.

This recipe comes from Alice Waters cookbook The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution