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Flavorful Leftover Chicken Carcass Soup 🥕🍗🧅
Soup helps stretch the family dinner budget while filling up those bellies with fresh, whole-food ingredients you carefully choose yourself.
This soup in particular is an EXCELLENT way to save some money while creating another meal from a previous one. Once we’ve already enjoyed a whole roasted chicken or turkey and there’s some meat left and the entire carcass, use this recipe to create a flavorful and super nutritious soup for the week ahead! There are a lot of valuable nutrients that we can still extract from those bones that are often just thrown away!
Animal joints and bones contain healing collagen.*
Have you noticed the gelatin formation after simmering bones for several hours? That collagen/gelatin is liquid gold to me. Animal bones are also rich in calcium and many other minerals.
➡️As your soup simmers with the bones, many nutrients are released into your soup. I really recommend simmering this for the full 3 hours or so if time allows.
You’ll never want to throw out chicken bones again once you create this ultra-flavorful broth and mineral-rich soup.
I often double up soup recipes because it always tastes even better the next day and also freezes very well. So right after dinner, dish up your lunch containers for tomorrow and stash them in the fridge, then freeze the rest for the next time you’re craving this DELICIOUS soup!
Once again, this year, I’m making it a HUGE focus of mine to keep our family food budget in check. We’re making simpler meals and ALWAYS shopping the sales.
What does shopping the sales mean?
For me, it means that I have a few ideas for recipes I’d like to make that week, BUT I’m VERY flexible. When I’m making a soup like this, I choose whatever veggie is on sale at the store or something that I need to use up at home (OR farmers market…or possibly ready in the garden). The same goes for protein. As I’m walking through the store, when I see something is discounted that week…well, that then becomes our protein of choice. It’s always a balance between making GOOD choices while also not overspending on items that aren’t as affordable at the time.
🥕🧄🌱 Add more of any ingredients you love, or have on hand…it’ll turn out great!
What are Parmesan rinds?
Parmesan rinds are just what they sound like: the rind from real Parmesan cheese. Authentic Parmesan cheese has a protective rind that develops all along the outside, kinda like its crust.
The rind contains all the flavors of the cheese, but it’s basically inedible (it’s actually fine to eat, but the texture is hard to actually chew). It’s FANTASTIC to cook with!
Adding a Parmesan rind to your soup will add a lot of dimensions to the flavor. Parmesan rinds don’t melt, but they do soften a bit. It will just sit in your soup and infuse it with all of that rich flavor.
Plus, they’re usually cheap!
I like to save the rinds from the Parmesan cheese I purchase (they’ll stay good in the fridge for months!), but you can also buy rinds from cheese shops and high-end grocers; they’re extremely inexpensive!
You can easily adapt soup recipes to fit your personal tastes. I often add extra meat and vegetables, depending on what I need to use up in the fridge.
I love the high protein + veggie combo here! Hope you love it too! ❤
Soup always tastes even better the next day. This chicken/turkey soup stays great refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
- chicken or turkey carcass and any leftover meat
- 1 parmesan rind, optional but highly recommended
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 large carrots, sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- a handful of fresh thyme sprigs, or ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Place all of your ingredients except for the peas and the zucchini into a large Dutch oven or stockpot.
Pour in water to cover the ingredients by 1 inch.
Bring your soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on LOW for 1 to 3 hours covered with a lid. Simmering your soup for longer will make the broth incredibly flavorful. Check on the soup occasionally, and add more water if the level goes down more than an inch.
About 15 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove and discard any chicken bones, parm rind, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs. Shred any meat still attached to the bones and throw it back into your pot. Add in your frozen peas and chopped fresh zucchini, then continue to simmer for the remaining 15 minutes. Taste test then season your soup with sea salt and pepper to your taste.