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.