Luckily for me, Thanksgiving happens to coincide with the start of soup season in my house. From October to May, we can be found eating soup up to four times a week. Without a doubt, it’s my favourite food, and while my kids don’t quite enjoy it on the same level that I do, they do eat it, meaning I get double the veggies in them at this time of year thanks to the purees I make, which often call for plenty of produce that might not make it on the plate otherwise.
Most of the soup we eat requires a stock for the base, which is where Thanksgiving comes in handy. Our large family devours my 25-pound turkey, and the carcass is left for me to have a little fun with, in the form of making homemade stock for the freezer.
I like to use my slow cooker for the stock. I can’t always fit all the bones in, but if you have a smaller turkey, or a whole chicken, you’ll have no trouble. Just fill the crock pot with your bones, and add a few chopped carrots, halved onions (leave the skins on, they help to give the stock it’s golden hue) and celery stalks and leaves. Toss in a few peppercorns, a tablespoon or two of kosher salt and a few bay leaves. Cover with water, add the lid and allow it to simmer for a minimum of 8 hours on low. The longer the stock cooks the clearer it will be which is why I like to cook mine overnight while I’m sleeping, but it can be done during the day while you’re at work, too.
When the stock is done cooking, pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the bones and other ingredients. Ladle it into storage containers and place them in the fridge for 6’8 hours or overnight. Spoon off the fat and store the stock in the fridge for a few days or up to three months in the freezer.
Do you like to make stock with your turkey leftovers?