Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Anyone else have a fridge FULL of leftovers?  I made BOTH a turkey and a ham for Christmas Dinner and now I'm paying for it with a fridge too full of food to justify eating out.  Luckily the internet is full of great ideas for leftovers, and a lot of them come from the paleo community.

I always serve Turkey Soup the day after I make a roasted bird.  It's something that most of my family loves and its easy to make, although takes all day because I make my own stock from the carcass, neck and giblets.  But the day of Christmas, while everyone is glued to their new gifts, there's no rush to be anywhere.

My favorite homemade stock recipe was posted by a Ms. Polcyn on  It makes use of the parts of a chicken or turkey that I dislike using, which makes me feel better than tossing them out.  It REALLY makes a difference when you use homemade stock in a dish than store bought.


  • 6 cups water
  • the neck, giblets and leftover carcass (I usually just use the wings from my cooked turkey)

  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp peppercorn


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the neck and giblets (excluding the liver), 6 cups water, celery, carrot, onion, tangerine rind, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and continue to cook at a simmer, skimming the froth occasionally for 1 hour. Add liver and continue to cook at a bare simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. There should be about 3 cups of stock. If there is more, simmer the stock until it is reduced to about 3 cups; if there is less, add enough water to measure about 3 cups.


Making soup used to be a bit of a mystery to me, until I had used several recipes found online.  I realized that there are ___ steps to making a soup.

  1. Cook your aromatic vegetables in fat.  These would be your onions, garlic, and celery.  These vegetables release their full flavor when they've been sauteed in butter/bacon grease/olive oil.  
  2. Add your other vegetables in: tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green beans, zucchini, broccoli and cook for just a few minutes.  This is also the time to add your COOKED meat.  Leftover turkey, ham, chicken, beef strips all work well in soups.
  3. Add your additional spices (sage, thyme, rosemary for Turkey) (rosemary, oregano for beef) (I prefer nothing for ham soup) AND ALWAYS A BAY LEAF!  This is when you add your broth/stock too.  Enough to cover the ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  
  5. Remove from heat and taste.  Add your salt and pepper now, that way you have control over the saltiness and pepper levels.  Flavors concentrate in the soup making process and you can end up with a VERY salty or peppery soup!
Soup making is as easy as THAT!   You can experiment with different vegetables and broths and seasonings and make it exactly how you like it.  

A new one I'm trying is inspired by the Cabbage Soup with Leftover Ham from  I usually like to use my leftover ham in breakfast dishes, but a Christmas virus had me craving hot soup.


  • 1/2 head cabbage;
  • 2 tbsp fat (butter, ghee, bacon grease, olive oil, you pick)
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 2 carrots, chopped;
  • 1 lb cooked ham, cubed;
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;


  1. In a large saucepan over a medium-high heat melt the cooking fat. Sautee the onions and garlic in the cooking fat for 5 to 7 minutes, just until the onions are translucent and tender.
  2. Add the cabbage, green beans, carrots and ham and toss with the onions and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent anything from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Pour in the stock with the bay leaves. Allow the soup to come to a simmer and cook partially covered for 35 to 45 minutes. Season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper, but taste the liquid before adding any salt, as the ham will most likely give off enough saltiness on its own.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

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