Monday, January 26, 2009


A 15-lb. turkey for 4 people for Christmas dinner seemed like a waste. There was no way we could eat it all, and leftovers just don't seem appetizing by the third day. So immediately after dinner, I refrigerated what we would eat the next day and vacuum packed the rest for the freezer. Especially the bones. All the bones (neck, back, breast and legs were vacuum packed with meat and skin attached, in separate bags. And Sunday I took two packages out of the freezer and made this soup. The secret to using bones from a cooked turkey (or chicken) is to not boil the soup. Boiling the soup will toughen the meat. There is a ton of flavor in the bones and skin, and though you might think all the flavor is gone once you roast a turkey, it's not. This soup has to be simmered for the good part of a day, so it's actually perfect for a slow-cooker. But I opted to use my Dutch oven instead, since I can put it on a smooth cooktop surface on very low heat, keeping the soup at a simmer. This soup can feed a crowd or give you several meals. Either way, at this time of the year, with the temperatures in the teens, this is a comfort meal.

Turkey Bones Soup
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 9 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 2 tsp. Smart Balance buttery spread
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
Bones, skin and meat from a turkey or chicken
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Noodles or Rice

In Dutch oven, heat the Smart Balance and add the onion. Cook over medium heat till transparent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. Add meat, skin and bones; stir for 2 minutes; add chicken broth and enough water to cover the meat. Add salt, celery, carrots, bay leaves and parsley. Cover and simmer for 5-6 hours, or till meat is very tender and falling off bones. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Remove meat from pot, discarding bones, skin and any fat pieces. Chop or shred meat and return to pot on low heat.

In separate pot, cook noodles or rice of preference according to package directions. Spoon noodles or rice into bowls, topping with soup.


Barbara Bakes said...

I can imagine how wonderful this smelled simmering all day. I've been pretty wasteful with turkey bones in the past. I'll have to remember this recipe!

Lynda said...

I too saved my turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and then made soup weeks later.It is so good and really helps stretch the budget.

Sara said...

My mom makes turkey soup every year the day after thanksgiving, it's a tradition!

Donna-FFW said...

Terrific use for turkey bones. I'll have to save them next time and use them. I love recipes that are from leftovers. Thanks, Judy!

Shanbanan said...

Geez louise that looks good. I've got a carcass from a rotisserie chicken in my fridge right now that I was going to make stock from, but I think it's gonna become this soup instead.

Yasmeen said...

Heart warming soup,love to slurp such soups on cold winter nights:).
Thanks for dropping by I'll be glad to add you to my reading list:)

Anonymous said...

Judy, I do the same thing - with leftover chicken, ham bone.

I was lucky to get a HUGE deep freeze from Granted I had to pick it up - but it is so huge you could literally put bodies in it!

One Thanksgiving, my local store sold Turkeys for .19 cents a pound for each $20 spent. I went every night and spread out my grocery shopping for a week and ended up with 7 turkeys!

We ate turkey in February!

Your soup look delish!

Selba said...

This is a great idea in order not waste the Turkey leftovers :)

Kevin said...

I freeze any turkey or chicken bones right away as well. Using them to make stocks is always good.

Shanbanan said...

I made the soup w/ the rotisserie carcass. It was really awesome, I gotta say. Thanks so much for recipe.

Looking forward to trying the thin crust pizza