Using the Leftover Turkey to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

by on July 4th, 2014
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When I was a child, I was not a fan of vegetables. To me, it wasn’t so much the flavor as it was the texture of cooked vegetables. I just didn’t like them.

But thanks to my grandmother and a soup she made, I learned a great way to eat my vegetables — and to get my kids to do the same.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give this soup a try, because it puts to use that turkey carcass left over from dinner.

Make the Broth

Similar to the way you make traditional chicken noodle soup, begin making a broth from your turkey: Place your turkey carcass into a large pot with water. I usually add cut-up onions and celery to the water at this point. Place the pot on the stovetop and allow it to boil. Let the pot simmer for a few hours, adding additional water as needed.

Collect the Stock

Using a colander, pour out the pot’s contents into another pot. Remove the carcass and all solid material so all you have in the new pot is the golden yellow broth. Place this pot on the stovetop over low heat. Depending on how much soup you want to make, you may want to add additional water.

Add the Vegetables

This is where you can get creative and even use leftovers. If you made carrots or Brussels sprouts with your Thanksgiving dinner, throw those into your broth pot. Add any other vegetables you may have on hand. Vegetables I usually use include leeks, potatoes, broccoli, peppers, onions, carrots, and celery, and I have even used asparagus, beans, peas, and sweet potatoes. Allow the stock and vegetables to simmer for an hour or so. Add additional water as needed. Remove from heat and allow cooling for about 30 minutes.

Hide the Veggies

You may think this is just vegetable soup and your kids will never eat it, but the real veggie-hiding is yet to come. Once the soup has cooled, blend it with a blender until you have a creamed-soup consistency. Repeat this with all the vegetables and stock and return the mixture back into your pot. Heat and add spices to taste. I will usually add ground pepper, a few cubes of chicken bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, and curry powder. But any spice combination you and your children like will work.

Once this is done, you will have a nice cream-like soup with all the nutrients from the vegetables — but not a physical trace for your kids to see.

More from Deborah Braconnier:

Creative Cooking for the Frugal Family

Cheesecake Grapes

Bake Stones: A Cookie, Scone of a Pancake?

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