You can make the most delicious, healthy bone broth, or turkey soup stock or broth, in your Crock Pot or slow cooker. All you need is your leftover Thanksgiving turkey or another turkey, several vegetables, lots of water, and a day when you’re home.
I love my slow cooker. Slow cookers, also called by their brand name CrockPot®, use slow, gentle heat to cook food. The best ones, such as the CrockPot® brand ones, have a ceramic insert that you can easily remove and clean. I use my slow cooker to make pot roast, beef stroganoff, Chinese broccoli or cashew chicken, and many other dishes.
But by far the best use I have found for my slow cooker is to make delicious, healthy bone broths or soup stocks. What is bone broth? Bone broth is a healing food made by simmering animal bones with water and vegetables. Basically, it’s soup stock. The slow cooking or simmering breaks the bones down so that vitamins and minerals leach into the cooking water. It tastes good and offers healthy, nourishing food. You can drink bone broth on its own or add cooked vegetables and pasta to make it into soup. You can also freeze leftovers for use another day.
How to Make Turkey Broth in Your Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
The first step, of course, is to have a cooked turkey available. After Thanksgiving is a great time to try this recipe, because hopefully you’ve got a nicely carved turkey with just the bones and perhaps a little meat left. You can also use a roasted chicken for this recipe.
You will need:
- Large 10 cup slow cooker
- One fully cooked turkey with edible meat, skin removed
- 8 cups of water
- 1 onion, cut into big chunks with skin still on
- Two celery stalks, cleaned and cut into big chunks
- Two carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 20 peppercorns
Break the turkey into parts so that it fits into the slow cooker. Add water to cover it, then add all the other ingredients. Leave the skin on the onion; it creates a beautiful color in the stock and adds extra flavor. Leaves on top of celery stalks should also be left in the pot as they add more flavor, too.
Place the lid on securely and cook on HIGH for 2 hours. Then turn heat to LOW and cook for 22 hours. Yes, a full DAY to simmer the soup. Make sure that you are home during this time. I set mine up in the morning, then let it simmer overnight and turn the pot off the following morning when I make my coffee.
Once the soup is cooked for a full 24 hours, let the pot cook down. Use a colander or spaghetti strainer placed over a large pot or bowl and pour the soup out so that you strain out the bones, vegetables and peppercorns. The remaining clear broth will have a delicious taste, beautiful golden brown color, and a wonderful smooth texture. Use it as the base for soup stock or enjoy on its own. Freeze leftovers and keep extra refrigerated until use.
More Fall Harvest Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like the following fall and Thanksgiving recipes on Home Garden Joy:
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.