Do NOT throw that roast chicken or christmas turkey carcass away! Turn it into a thick, hearty, delicious and nutritious soup… which also happens to be extremely low in calories! Result!
All you do is put the carcass into a very large pot – if you can, squash it down a bit so it’s easier to cover with water – add sufficient water to just cover the bones. Then simply add two peeled and quartered onions, a handful of chunky carrots (washed but don’t need to peel), and some salt and pepper to taste. Then bring it to a good strong boil for a couple of minutes, before reducing to a very gentle simmer for an hour. After an hour or so, remove from the heat and allow the pot to cool completely – I leave mine overnight. Once cooled, the fat from the carcass will have solidified on the surface, so you can spoon it all off and discard.
Now, the easiest way to do this part is to get in there with your hands!
You’ll be picking out the veg and meat and putting it into a fresh pot – here’s a pic of the way I set up for this stage… I put my fresh pot beside the current one, and put a large sieve over the top. I can then easily pick out the chunks of carrot and pop them into the new pot. Then I ladle out the soup and run it through the sieve to catch any bits, then pick through what’s in the sieve to extract every last bit of the meat and discard the bones and gristle.
Continue until you’ve run all the original pot through the sieve into the new pot, keeping the meat, veg and broth. Now you can add two large potatoes, bring the soup to a boil, then simmer again until the potatoes are soft.
Once the potatoes are really soft and starting to crumble, remove the pot from the heat. If you have a lot of liquid in the pot, just remove 2-3 ladles of the broth and set aside in a jug – you can use this to adjust the thickness of your soup once it’s blended. Now blend everything in the pot – I find that using a stick (immersion) blender is the easiest as you can blend it directly in the pot. Blend till it’s all smooth and thick, adding your reserved broth back in as it gets thicker. You’ll be surprised how thick the soup gets from just the veg and chicken, so you really don’t need too much potato for thickness.
Now adjust your seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I find I have to be quite generous, especially with the black pepper which we love!
Ladle into bowls and serve, or freeze in portions for later.
Recipe: Chicken or turkey bone soup, approx 123 cals* per dinner serving
Makes 5 dinner and 5 lunch servings (*its difficult to accurately measure the calories in a carcass, but this is the best estimate I could calculate)
- 1 roast chicken or turkey carcass, leftover from a roast dinner
- 5-6 large carrots, washed and cut into large chunks
- 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered.
- Approx 4 litres of water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the carcass into a large pot, squashing it down to compact it a little.
- Add the onions and carrots, and add sufficient water to just cover the bones. Bring to a rapid boil for two minutes, then reduce to a very gentle simmer for about an hour, or longer if you have time.
- Allow to cool completely (I leave mine overnight), then skim off all the fat that has solidified on the surface as it’s cooled.
- Now add the potatoes and plenty of salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil again and simmer till the potatoes are soft and crumbling.
- Remove from the heat, and spoon out 2-3 ladles of the liquid into a jug and set aside (you’ll use this to adjust the thickness of the final soup).
- Now use an immersion blender to blend all the meat, veg and liquid into a smooth soup. Use the reserved broth to adjust the soup to your required thickness – you’ll be surprised at how thick and hearty this soup becomes with just the meat and veg, so don’t overdo the potato!