We hope that you and your families had an absolutely wonderful day yesterday and we thought we’d share with you one of our favourite techniques for using up Thanksgiving leftovers… making a nice, wholesome soup!
Now, this is a recipe that requires several hours of cooking (don’t worry – for most of that time, you can just leave everything simmering and go off and enjoy your day!) – but it DOES mean that you need to make an early start.
So here’s what you need to do in order to make a nutrient-rich soup from your Thanksgiving leftovers that will be delicious not just for baby, but for the rest of the family too!
Pull any remaining turkey from the bones (our older children love this job, for some reason!).
Place the bones and any skin into a large pot and cover with water. Add roughly chopped veggies which will give your stock flavour. We use onion, carrots and celery. Do NOT add your leftover veggies from dinner – they’ll be going into the pot later.
Throw in your favourite chopped herbs – we like parsley and thyme – and a few black peppercorns (you can omit these if you prefer, but they will not make the soup ‘hot’ if you’re careful not to add too many). We also like to throw in several cloves of garlic, crushed lightly.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot.
Simmer for several hours (at least three), skimming any impurities off the surface from time to time (these look like little foamy patches floating on the top).
Lift out the turkey bones and remove the veggies with a slotted spoon. Discard the bones AND veggies (remember, they’ve been simmering for hours so they’re virtually boiled to death!). Strain your delicious soup base through a very fine mesh strainer, then return it to the pot.
Now comes the easy part – adding the leftovers.
You need to decide what will be making up the ‘bulk’ of your soup. If it’s a simple turkey and veggie soup, that’s fine – just add chopped leftover turkey and chopped leftover veggies, warm through and you’re done!
If you’d like it to be more substantial and you have leftover potatoes, then dice them and add those to the pot too. But if you DON’T have any leftover potatoes but you’d like the soup to be more filling, then throw in uncooked whole grain pasta, brown rice or barley.
Pasta should be added to the pot 15 mins before the veggies.
Brown rice or barley should be added to the pot 40 mins before the veggies.
Check the flavour and add a little freshly ground black pepper and extra chopped, fresh herbs if desired… and serve!
For more ideas – and for a few safety tips to observe when using leftovers – see our Baby Food Recipes using Thanksgiving Leftovers post from 2009!