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Do Lunch With Christmas Leftovers

Not sure what to do with all those leftovers from Christmas dinner?

Why not use them to make fresh lunches?!

On The Early Show Friday, Katie Lee Joel showed how to turn the leftovers into a tasty midday meal.

She suggests whipping up some delicious soups and paninis.


Scallop-Corn Chowder

Joel took inspiration from traditional New England Clam Chowder to create her very own version, using scallops and fresh corn. She left out the heavy cream, so this chowder has a lighter taste; it's a perfect dish to eat following a big holiday.

Yield: 4 servings

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
One 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
2 cups milk
1 pound sea scallops, halved, or quartered if large
Crumbled cooked bacon and sliced scallions, optional

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, chicken broth, and 2 cups of the corn. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a blender combine the remaining 2 cups corn and the milk. Add to the soup. Let simmer about 5 minutes. Add scallops and cook 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem. Garnish with bacon and scallions, if desired, and serve immediately.

Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup

Roasting carrots brings out all of their sweetness. For this soup, Joel added some ginger for a spicy contrast, and the bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce make a rich backdrop of flavor. With plain yogurt instead of heavy cream, it still has a creamy texture without all the fat.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

About 1-1/2 pounds carrots, cut in large dice (4 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 bay leaves
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the carrots with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread on the baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, ginger, and bay leaves until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, Worcestershire, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, and bring to a low boil. Add the carrots, reduce to a simmer, and cook about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches and blend until creamy. Add the yogurt and blend to combine. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Butternut Squash Soup

When butternut squash and apples are cooked with garlic and thyme, the aroma is intoxicating. After you blend all of the ingredients, it becomes a beautiful golden orange hue. Its perfect served hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings

One 2 to 2-1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into sixths
1 medium yellow onion, cut into sixths
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Place the squash, apple, and onion on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast in the oven until fork tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

Make a sachet with the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf (tied in a bundle using cheesecloth and cotton twine). Bring chicken broth and sachet to a low boil in a stockpot over high heat. Add the squash, apple, and onion. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the sachet. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches, and blend until smooth and creamy. Season the soup with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Here's where your creativity comes in! You could use a wide variety of cold cuts, veggies, sauces, bread, etc. for making paninis.

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