This Thanksgiving, when you find yourself with lots of turkey leftovers, don't throw them out! The bones from your festive dinner are a treasure trove of health just waiting to be exploited for your benefit, so whip up a healthy turkey soup.
The first step is to create a good stock or broth. For this, take two or three roughly chopped carrots, two roughly diced onions and three or four stalks of roughly chopped celery and fry them in coconut oil or olive oil in the bottom of your stock pot at medium high heat until they start to brown. Smash four or five cloves of garlic and put them in with the vegetables. Add a healthy pinch of unrefined sea salt and stir.
Once the vegetables have browned a little, throw in some white wine. The amount you want of this is going to depend on the size of your stockpot. For a 10L pot you'll probably want half a bottle of wine (preferably a non-oak fermented white, as the vanilla flavours which come from the oaking process can throw off the flavour of your soup). Not all home cooks use wine in the making of stocks and broths, but, as well as adding delicious flavour, the acidity of the wine is going to help pull minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium into the broth. All the alcohol will be long gone by the time you're tasting it.
Next add in your bones. The little bits of meat still clinging to the bones are fine, they'll add flavour and amino acids, but the real stars of the show are the bones themselves. As well as providing flavour, the bone, cartilage and marrow are going to provide minerals in the form of electrolytes which are easily assimilable.
Add in cold water and slowly bring to a boil. You never actually want it to a full rolling boil, but rather you want it to simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, lower the temperature so it stays at a simmer, never increasing to a full boil. Skim off the foam, fat and scum that rises to the top using a ladle. Left in, these impurities can lead to an off-tasting broth. After skimming, add two sprigs of rosemary, one sprig of thyme, a couple of sage leaves and two bay leaves. Also add in another healthy pinch of unrefined sea salt.
Now leave the broth at a simmer for six to eight hours.
Once the broth is done, scoop or strain off the bones, soggy vegetables and herbs. Add a little more unrefined sea salt if needed. Now you have the base of a turkey soup! From here you can add in all the delicious ingredients you'd normally eat in a soup --- chunks of leftover (cooked) turkey, carrots, celery, parsnip, sweet potato or noodles. Boil these vegetables or noodles until tender and enjoy your soup!
A quick note: don't add any powdered stocks. These are most often nothing but salt and in the worst cases contain MSG or yeast extracts. Plus, if you're seasoning with unrefined sea salt. the flavour will be immeasurably better. A complete mineral profile from unrefined sea salt is nourishing down to the cellular level, which youR body knows as soon as it's in your mouth. Although it may be subtle, this soup will just taste better than anything out of a can or box.
The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto. You can email him with questions at email@example.com.