By Crystal Grobe

I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays for a few reasons. First, it always falls on a Thursday, making it easy to plan. Second, I always take Thursday off to celebrate it with my husband’s family, so it’s like a bonus Thanksgiving. Third, a weekend always follows, so it feels like a long vacation from work. And lastly, it revolves around food, and who doesn’t like food?

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My family usually does the traditional turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes route, which I love because it smells so good and has the nostalgia factor. My in laws switch it up and meals range from brunch to appetizers to taco bowls, depending on what we’re feeling. The menu doesn’t really matter, it’s a great way to get people together for an elongated meal.

As for leftovers, I usually leave them to my siblings, but once in awhile I’ll stash a bit of turkey away (along with the turkey carcass), to make Curried Lentil Turkey Soup. The recipe comes from a blogger friend of mine, Emily Dingmann, of A Nutritionist Eats and I’ve been making it for a few years. The soup is so flavorful and satisfying and it’s also a great way to use Thanksgiving leftovers. The recipe makes a lot, but freezes well. It’s one of my favorite “Thanksgiving” recipes.

Curried Lentil Turkey Soup
By Emily Dingmann of A Nutritionist Eats

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2 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 cups green lentils
8 cups turkey broth
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
3-4 cups shredded turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro, for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and occasionally stir for about 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery and ginger, cooking for about 5 more minutes.

Mix in curry powder, garam masala, turmeric and coriander. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lentils and turkey broth to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Add coconut milk and shredded turkey; bring to a light boil and warm through. If soup is not thick enough, let simmer without a cover until desired consistency. Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.