My 15-pound bird yielded a lot of meat. I wanted to do something different with the leftovers than the standard turkey sandwiches (on oopsie bread of course!). So I thought of making a soup. I found a lovely recipe on I Breath. I’m Hungry – Smokey Bacon and Turkey Chowder.
I just made a few minor changes to the recipe, based on what I had in my house. My goal was not to run out to the grocery store for leftover soup.
I used Applegate Naturals Uncured Sunday Bacon* rather than the cherry hardwood smoked bacon. While I love the idea of cherry hardwood smoked bacon, I can’t find any in my neck of the woods that is uncured with sugar. So I just remedied the lack of smoky flavor by adding a bit more liquid smoke.
The second change was opting for a small onion (less than 2” in diameter), as I didn’t have a large shallot on hand. I tend to stay away from shallots. Just too many carbs compared to onions.
I was really excited about using my turkey stock. Unfortunately, I used a freezer bag to preserve it and when I thawed it out, it tasted like plastic. Ugh! So I ended up using canned chicken stock I had on hand. But to avoid this mistake again, I’m asking Santa for more canning jars.
The big change that I made was substituting a small orange pepper for the sweet potato. For a while I even debated using my broccoli instead. But I wanted to cut the carb count and I loved the idea of a splash of orange color in the soup. So the orange pepper was chopped up. But if you are looking for more comfort food and have a high carb tolerance, go with the sweet potato.
Now I did only use white meat. Since going low carb high fat with our diet, the dark meat and skin are greatly prized in our home. It’s the first left over of the turkey that goes first. The lean white meat (sans skin as that is too tasty to survive post-Thanksgiving) tends to linger too long in our refrigerator. But the cream, bacon and cheese add enough fat to this dish that I didn’t need to use our beloved, fatty dark meat.
Sugar-Free Bacon & Turkey Soup
Net Carbs: 3g (original recipe has 6g)
Serving Size: Nearly 2 Cups/Serving
- 8 oz. Sugar-free bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- ½ C celery, diced
- 8 C turkey or chicken bone broth
- ½ C heavy cream
- ½ C extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 Orange Bell Pepper, diced
- 4 C Turkey breast, shredded and chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum (to thicken the soup)
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Slice the raw bacon into 1-inch pieces. Brown them in a deep sauté pan until slightly crisp. If you like, set aside ¼ C of bacon for a garnish (I used all of my bacon as I feared I’d eat anything set aside…it is bacon after all!).
- Add the onion, celery and pepper to the remaining bacon in the pan and cook until soft – roughly 5 minutes.
- Add the bone broth, cream and cheese. Whisk until cheese is melted.
- Add in turkey, parsley and liquid smoke.** Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Whisk in the xanthan gum and cook until the soup thickens slightly.
- Stir in fresh thyme and season with Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.
- Eat up!
*I picked Applegate’s Uncured Sunday Bacon because when I did my research looking for sugar-free bacon, it was just that. Well either I completely missed it or they recently revised their nutrition label. Apparently their uncured bacon has less than 2% sugar cane added. So I’m hunting for sugar-free bacon again.
**If you are using sweet potato rather than a bell pepper, add it to the soup with the turkey. Your cooking time might change, as you want the diced potato pieces to be tender.
The soup tasted wonderful and at nearly 2 cups per serving, was very filling. I made a bowl for myself at noon Wednesday and didn’t feel like eating dinner until 9:00 p.m. Yep…it’s that filling.
It was the perfect meal for this cold, wet and windy week.