This sounds like such an odd kind of national food holiday, but it makes sense…I suppose. (Why it’s in the end of March and not in November with the other turkey days I have no idea.) But Turkey Neck Soup isn’t as gruesome or as unappetizing as the name may make it sound. It’s essentially exactly what it is: soup from the stewed neck of a turkey, which is dark, tough meat, but very flavorful. It’s mixed with potatoes, mirepoix, noodles…basically anything you’d put in a regular turkey soup, but cooked slowly, for hours, to get the neck meat really tender. It makes a lot more sense in these modern times than, say, fifty years ago: with the environmentally-conscious whole foods movement going on now, it’s both ethical and economical to use as many parts of the animal that you can, if you plan to eat meat. And when you buy a whole turkey or chicken, the neck and the gibblets come along with it–they even package it nicely in a little baggie for you! So there’s no reason to throw out the parts you think are “unusable,” just because they aren’t pretty. Cook them up real long & slow and make turkey neck soup!
But even with the whole food movement, you won’t find many restaurants even in trendy New York City willing to put “turkey neck soup” on their menu. Instead, head for one of the hearty turkey soups among the long list at the Soup Spot in Midtown. They have a soup for every occasion, season, and emotion you could think of. Their turkey soups range from brothy to creamy and throw in a smattering of delicious vegetables among the tender meat. The creamy turkey vegetable might bring you back to warm, hearty post-Thanksgiving meals with your family, while the turkey gumbo is an explosion of cajun flavors that will make you forget you’re not in New Orleans. While you’re there, you might want to ask them if they’ve heard of Turkey Neck Soup Day, and maybe convince them to do a one-day-only recipe to celebrate it next year!
220 W 31st St (between Fashion Ave & 8th Ave)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I’m a cream-based soup fanatic and every single one I’ve bought or sampled is packed with flavor, veggies, meat, from the more standard soups to those on the more creative side… cheeseburger chowder, traditional Italian wedding (I know, not cream based but the meatballs are insane), chicken and dumpling soup, chicken pot pie, all of the baked potato/cream of potato/cheese and potato varieties, creamy turkey vegetable, asparagus & brie, broccoli & cheddar cheese, cream of asparagus, cream of broccoli, cream of chicken, creamy tomato bisque, spinach & feta… yes this list was necessary… they are ALL AMAZING.”–Chelsea D.
“All I’ve tried are the Turkey Gumbo and Pasta Fagioli. Both were excellent. Don’t come here for anything other than an atypical Manhattan, soul satisfying culinary experience. And with such a commitment to well-made, quality product, it’s hard to imagine you can experience true disappointment.”–Amanda C.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!