There are a lot of people that don’t like to take pills. It makes us wonder what people did a couple of generations ago when you had no choice but to get your nutrients from food. Well, people spent more time outdoors, ate food that was picked at optimal ripeness, from soil rich in minerals and probiotics, and they ate animal organs and bone broths. Our bodies, like the bodies of animals, are rich sources of nutrients. These nutrients have jobs in our bodies and we are therefore, full of them.
No doubt you have heard talk about bone broth as of late. This is certainly not a new thing, but rather a practice that, for many hundreds of years, has provided people with nutrients when resources were scarce. Not to mention that many a sick day was treated with chicken noodle soup. Traditionally made with bone broth, the nourishment provided the nutrients needed for the immune system to get us through.
When foods become trendy, they can get a bit overstated when it comes to their health benefits. Bone broth is definitely a good source of a number of nutrients and beats a sugar laden hot drink any day. While there is conflicting opinions about whether bone broth directly supports allergies, skin health, digestive repair, joints or osteoporosis, there is another thing to consider. You don’t need to sip this out of a cup. You are going to add it to soup and your soup will taste THE BEST because homemade broth just makes it sing.
Want some great news? Bone broth doesn’t really cost you anything. Monetarily you are using something you were going to throw out anyway and the amount of time to get the broth simmering is negligible. The broth takes its time simmering, but you don’t have to do anything except let the magic happen.
The bones from your turkey including the neck, backs and cartilage pieces (you can substitute chicken in place of turkey and while the flavour of the soup is different than if it were turkey, it is delicious)
Water, preferably spring, reverse osmosis or filtered water of some kind
Salt, preferably a high mineral sea salt like Celtic or pink Himalayan
Apple cider vinegar, preferably unfiltered (This helps to extract nutrients)
Remove the meat leftovers on your turkey and save it for the soup. Place your bones and cartilage pieces in a large pot or crockpot and completely cover with water. Add about three teaspoons of salt and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let the magic happen for a minimum of 4 hours to a couple of days.
If you don’t like to leave your burner on low while you are sleeping, you can start your broth first thing in the morning and let it simmer for 12 hours throughout the day or use a large crockpot on high until it boils and then turn it to low for the remainder of time. You will need to keep the temperature really low so that you are not allowing the water to evaporate away too quickly. You can add more water to keep the process going longer if you want.
When you are finished, let the broth cool so that it is easy to handle. Strain the bones out over another pot. Discard the bones and refrigerate your broth overnight. In the morning, the fat will have hardened at the top and you can remove some or all of it before you use it to make your turkey soup. If you have more broth than you need for your soup, you can sip on it throughout the week or you can freeze it to save for future use.
Ingredients for 6-7 main course servings:
1-2 TBSP butter (oil is a fine substitute)
1 cup of each, diced: carrots, onions, celery
2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and halved*
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1/4 cup each: red lentils, green or french lentils, Canadian wild rice**
1 28oz can whole tomatoes and the juice (the tomatoes will break up during cooking, no need to fuss with them)
56oz of your turkey broth (just fill the empty tomato can twice)
2 cups of leftover turkey meat
few sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Warm up your large pot to medium heat. Add your butter and melt. Add your carrots, celery and onion and saute for a few minutes. Add your garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and continue the sizzle for a couple more minutes. Add your chunks of sweet potato, two kinds of lentils and your Canadian wild rice. Combine. Add your tomatoes and broth, stir, cover and bring to just barely a boil. Reduce your heat to a very low simmer and let it cook for about 2-3 hours.
Take out the chunks of sweet potato and put them in your blender with enough of the hot broth to allow it to blend. Carefully puree the sweet potato and broth to a smooth, creamy consistency and add it back to the soup. Add your turkey meat and fresh thyme and rosemary and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add your parsley and taste to see if you need some more salt and pepper.
This soup freezes well. Other great additions include noodles, barley, peas, kale, corn, etc. Enjoy!
*You are going to puree the sweet potato into the broth and it is easier to pick it out of the soup if it is in large pieces.
**Read more about Canadian Wild Rice here
Recipe, post and photos by Amy Buckman, Community Ambassador, Amaranth Whole Foods Markets