Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup

It will come as no surprise to you that we had a low carb Thanksgiving around here. The menu included:

Turkey (duh!)

Giblet gravy thickened with xanthan

Sugar-free Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

Fauxtatoes made with a combo of cauliflower and celery root, with plenty of cream cheese and butter blended in

Sweet Potatoes, sliced and layers with paper-thin orange slices, drizzled with melted butter, and baked

Apple-Walnut Dressing from 300 15 Minute Low-Carb Recipes, only I dramatically increased the recipe, plus added browned and crumbled pork sausage

'Baga Fries, from 500 Low-Carb Recipes

Beans Almandine, also from 500 Low-Carb Recipes

Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Crust, similar to the recipe in 500 Low-Carb Recipes, but made with Swerve and stevia instead of Splenda, and with coconut milk instead of heavy cream, 'cause we had a guest who was lactose intolerant

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a crust made from some grain-and-sugar-free gingersnaps that had not come out brilliantly, but made a great crust

Whipped Cream and Whipped Coconut Cream, sweetened with vanilla liquid stevia extract

We have been eating leftovers for days! We actually had two turkeys -- long story -- and I boiled up one carcass for soup yesterday. I thought I'd tell you what I'm doing with it:

First, I broke up the carcass and put it in my soup kettle. I covered it with water, added about a teaspoon of salt and a few tablespoons of cider vinegar, and simmered it till the meat was falling off the bones. I let this cool.

I then strained the broth, put it back in the kettle, and put it over high heat to reduce. In the meanwhile, I picked all the meat off the bones, saving gooey cartilage bits for my dogs. I diced up the meat into bite-sized pieces.

When the broth had cooked down about halfway -- this concentrates the flavor -- I turned it down to a simmer again. I stirred in the diced meat, at least a cup and a half -- maybe more -- of both leftover dressing and leftover gravy, and a bay leaf. That combination is now simmering slowly. The dressing contributes celery, onion, and poultry seasoning (and apples, walnuts, and sausage), the gravy intensifies the meat flavor, with the xanthan adding body to the broth.

In an hour or so, I'll check it to see if the seasoning needs to be adjusted, and salt and pepper it as needed.

At that point I can freeze my soup if I like. When I want to serve it, I'll heat it, and drain and rinse tofu shirataki noodles. I'll put about half a packet in each soup bowl, ladling soup over them, and serve. Why not add the shirataki right away? Because shirataki do not freeze well; they disintegrate.

You can see that this soup requires lots of leftover dressing and gravy -- just one reason I make sure to make plenty. After all, who wants to eat plain dried out leftover turkey?

Now what to do with the other turkey carcass? Hmmm.

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the other turkey carcass

What I did with mine was make broth in the pressure cooker, yielding about 5 quarts. Then I reduced it to about two cups and it's currently in the dehydrator. When it's dry dry dry I will powder it.

Be sure you chill the broth well enough for the fat to solidify so you can remove it before reducing. It won't dehydrate right or keep well if it's fatty.

Powdered Turkey Broth

Wow! Cool! I've made my own broth concentrate to use in place of bouillon concentrate, but never dried. Hmmm.