By now, you are likely staring at the leftovers in your fridge with disgust. The same food that seemed so delectable two days ago now makes you want to cry. But before you throw it away in haste, consider making this easy, flavorful slow cooker soup. My version uses homemade turkey bone broth, and leftover Thanksgiving roasted root vegetables, as well as sausage, to give it a different depth of flavor.
If you’re starting early, say Thanksgiving night, or you still have the turkey carcass, then it’s easy to make your own turkey bone broth in the slow cooker. It’s a great base for this soup. If not, don’t sweat it. You can use chicken or turkey broth.
SLOW COOKER TURKEY BONE BROTH:
Turkey carcass or whatever meat/bones you have left over
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white, if it’s all you have)
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
Put the turkey carcass in your slow cooker, cover it with water, add the vinegar and garlic clove, and season with sea salt and black pepper.
If you have any unused veggies (such as onion, shallot, celery, carrot, or mushroom), chop and add to your slow cooker with the turkey carcass. (This will add flavor to the broth.)
Cook on low for 8 hours minimum. The longer you cook the broth, the more flavorful and more health-supportive it will be.
When cook time ends, strain the meat, bones and veggies from the broth.
Once the meat has cooled, separate it from the bones to return to the soup. (This is time consuming, but worth it!)
Note: I cook my bone between 12 and 20 hours, depending on how much time I have, in order to extract the maximum amount of gelatin and collagen from the bones. When it is cooled, it is thick enough to resemble Jell-O, but then liquefies once it is heated.
SLOW COOKER TURKEY SOUP:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1cup butternut squash or sweet potato, chopped
Approx. 3 cups leftover turkey meat, chopped (meat only – no bones or skin)
Any leftover roasted vegetables from Thanksgiving dinner (such as carrots, squash, parsnips, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. – nothing you cooked in butter or cream)
2 links of sausage, sliced and casing removed (You can use a standard Italian sausage for AIP, or a smoky sausage like Andouille if no restrictions)
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp cumin
Optional: 1 tsp smoked paprika (Omit for AIP)
4 cups turkey bone broth, turkey or chicken stock
If your slow cooker has a removable insert for the stove or a browning function, use that. Otherwise, use a separate pan on the stove, then transfer to slow cooker after step 2.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in the pan or insert, and then add onion and a pinch of sea salt and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add celery and carrot, and saute for additional 3 minutes. Remove pan from stovetop or switch slow cooker from ‘brown’ function to ‘slow cooking function.’
Put veggies, sausage, leftover turkey and spices in slow cooker insert, and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. (I use 1 Tbsp ground pepper.)
Pour broth or stock over top, stir to combine, and cover.
Cook on low for 6 hours. Check on soup halfway through, and add 1-2 cups more broth , if necessary.
When cook time is up, you should lift the lid to find a fragrant, golden-hued soup.
Jason likes his with crackers. I prefer to eat mine alone.