Turkey can be eaten any time of the year, but it is also a winter holiday favorite in many countries. A large, beautifully browned bird holding down the center of the table is a treat to see. Finding a great price on turkey encourages people to buy the largest turkey that they can cook. For some of us with gigantic roasters, that turkey can be impressive, indeed! What do you do when the meal is over, everybody is stuffed, and there is still a mountain of turkey?
Sandwiches always come to mind. Turkey is a versatile meat, and you can explore making sandwiches with different breads, cheeses, veggies, and condiments. There are literally dozens of sandwiches that you can invent! If you would rather follow a recipe, there are those, too! What if you get tired of turkey sandwiches, but you have a lot of turkey left? Make it into soup!
After the meat is taken off of the bones, get a large stock pot out. Put at least two gallons of water into the stock pot. Add the bones; make sure there is no stuffing clinging to the bones. Bring the pan to a boil. Then, reduce the heat until the bones are simmering gently. Cover the pan with a lid. Cook the bones at least four hours. You can cook it overnight, just make sure that it won’t boil dry.
After the bone broth has finished cooking, remove the bones with a slotted spoon. Let the broth cool by putting the pan into cold water, changing the water frequently. If it’s cold outside, I put the stock pot on the deck to cool. Store the broth in containers. I like to fill them with 2 – 4 cups of broth. Freeze your broth, unless you are going to use it immediately.
This nutritious, low-carb soup can be made in less than an hour. If you want to use your food processor, you can cut your chopping time in half!
Turkey Vegetable Soup Recipe
1/ 4 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped celery (about 5 ribs)
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped carrots ( I used the last part of a bag of baby carrots-saves time.)
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped bell pepper (I like to use a red bell pepper for the super nutritional values.)
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 bay leaves-broken into large pieces
4 cups broth (I boil the turkey bones overnight to make a broth. It’s fine to use a canned chicken broth.)
¼ - ½ teaspoon black pepper (depending on how much black pepper you enjoy)
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned salt, or any salt that you prefer
¼ cup Quaker quick barley
2=5.5 ounce cans of V-8 juice or tomato juice
4 cups of cooked turkey chopped into cubes (Use your leftover turkey.)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Sear the vegetables. In a heavy Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until a piece of bell pepper that is dropped in sizzles. Turn the heat to high. Add one quarter of the vegetables and stir them around for 30 seconds. Push them to the side and in the open space add the second quarter of vegetables. Stir them around for 30 seconds. Push them to the side and in the open space add the third quarter of vegetables. Continue until all of the vegetables have been seared. Keep cooking the seared vegetables over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broken bay leaves; stir them around to release their oils. Pour the 4 cups of broth into the vegetable mixture. Stir in the pepper and salt. Continue cooking over high heat until it boils. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Then add the barley. Pour the vegetable juice in and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes to let the barley cook. After 12 minutes, turn the heat off, add the turkey pieces and the lemon juice. Stir and let the soup rest, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Vegetarian: If you live a vegetarian lifestyle, but you want a great vegetable soup, substitute your favorite vegetarian broth for the turkey or chicken broth. Then, use Quorn Naked Cutlets for the meat. Just chop the cutlets into cubes.
Chicken Vegetable Soup: Just substitute cooked chicken for the turkey.
Carbohydrates: Add 1 cup of mixed vegetables when you add the V-8. Or, add a can of drained garbanzo beans. You could add a cup of cubed potato.
In less than an hour, your freshly made, low carb Turkey Vegetable Soup will be ready to serve with your favorite sandwich! Sometimes, I just want something warm and delicious with a sandwich. This soup fills that niche.
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