After indulging in far too many unhealthy treats during Christmas, I’ve been starting to crave wholesome and nutritious foods that have been sadly lacking in my diet lately. I happen to have a lot of leftover turkey in my fridge, as I’m sure many of you do, so this soup was a perfect way to use some of it up while satisfying my need for a healthy meal. This recipe is very similar to the soup from Whole Chicken in a Crockpot. By simmering the bones overnight in the slow cooker, you get a rich and nutrient-packed stock for your soup. If you don’t have any turkey bones to do this or you just don’t have the time, store-bought turkey or chicken stock is fine for this too. The whole family loved this soup, and suprisingly it was my usually picky Cole who seemed to enjoy it the most. He asked me if it was good for him and I told him it was, then he asked “so how come it tastes so good?” Apparently a meal can’t be good for you and taste good, according to Cole’s logic. This soup just blew his mind.
1 turkey carcass, meat and skin removed
1 onion, cut in half
1 tsp vinegar
Break up the turkey carcass as much as you can and place the pieces in a slow cooker with the onion. Add enough water to cover the bones, then add vinegar and cook on low heat overnight.
In the morning, pour the contents of the slow cooker through a strainer to remove the bones and onion. Either use the stock right away for your soup or place it in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to use later. The benefit of chilling the stock first is it allows you to scoop the fat easily off the top. Don’t be alarmed if the stock congeals when chilled; this is caused by the natural gelatin from the bones and is a sign of a great stock.
Turkey Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 small head of broccoli, chopped
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tbsp fresh basil, diced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, diced
6 cups (approx) turkey stock
1/2 cup of your favourite pasta
1 cup (more or less) of cooked chopped turkey
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil on medium heat in a dutch oven or soup pot. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli, poultry seasoning, basil and parsley. Stir and cook for another minute. Pour in your turkey stock and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, until pasta is soft. Add turkey and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
On a side note, I love this photo because you can see my cat in the spoon’s reflection. He was hovering pretty close to the soup the whole time. He promptly jumped onto the table to try to lick our bowls after we were done. Naughty kitty!