Waste not, want not . . . right? Or rather I should say, “waist not, don’t want.” Thanksgiving can be hazardous to our Baby Boomer waistlines. Eating healthy soup, after the feast is over, makes it easier to control. I love to make my favorite Herb Marinated and Roasted Turkey Recipe, and eat it until all that’s left is the carcass. Instead of throwing it out, I make a fabulous after Thanksgiving turkey soup using the carcass to flavor the broth.
- 1 Turkey Carcass
- water, broth, skimmed pan drippings (can be a mix) to cover up the turkey carcass in a large soup pot.
- 1-2 brown onions unpeeled
- 2-3 bay leaves whole
- 2-3 parsley sprigs
- a few celery and carrot tops
- broth (made above)
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes and juice coarsely chopped
- 4 large carrots coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- ½ bag frozen spinach or fresh if available
- 3 leeks coarsely chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic whole
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh herbs chopped
- 1-2 cups turkey meat chopped
- 1 cup of tiny pasta or a combination of grains In the image I used Trader Joe's Harvest Grains mix (It's a savory blend of Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa)
- Parmesan cheese grated to taste
- Pickoff most of the turkey meat that is leftover and set it aside.
- Break up the turkey carcass so that it will fit in a very large soup pot and place it inside the pot. If you have giblets, throw them in too, except for the liver.
- Cover the turkey with water or broth.
- Place an unpeeled brown onion or two (whole) in the pot. The peel will give the soup a nice color
- Add celery and carrot tops, parsley sprigs, bay leaves, garlic, to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook down the broth for at least an hour but preferably several hours at a low simmer.
- Let the broth cool a bit and strain the liquid into a smaller soup pot to make sure there are no bones in the soup. Use a fat skimmer or just use a spoon to take out any remaining fat.
- You will find more meat will come off the bones. You can save some of this to put back in the soup or feed it to your pets. Pets love Thanksgiving too.
- Saute the chopped carrots, chopped onion, celery, spinach, and leek in olive oil until slightly soft. Add the mixture to the broth
- Add chopped turkey, herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves, and bring to a low simmer for at least an hour.
- Add the mixed grains (or pasta) and cook in the pot until done. (time it according to the package directions)
- Ladle into soup bowls with a tiny bit of grated Parmesan on top.
- Serve with crusty bread and enjoy. Of course, this soup is always better the next day as most soups are.
Throw in any vegetables you happen to have on hand including leftovers. Fresh is always better, but canned vegetables along with their stock work well too. Feel free to be creative.
Soup made with lean turkey and plenty of vegetables is low in calories and high in fiber. It’s a great way to clean out all that we indulged in during the holidays. Also, bone broth has many immune-boosting benefits to keep you strong and healthy.
What do you like to put in your after Thanksgiving turkey soup? Please leave a comment below. We all love to be inspired!