I can hear what you’re saying already: “My turkey hasn’t even thawed yet and already Jean’s blogging about Homemade Turkey Soup.” I want to make sure you don’t throw away that turkey carcass, ’cause there’s flavor a-plenty in them thar bones.
The day after Thanksgiving pull out the biggest pot you have and toss in the bones and leftover turkey scraps. With the addition of some water, seasonings, and vegetables, you’ll have the makings of a delicious soup that you’ll enjoy for days.
Keep in mind that making turkey soup is an imprecise science. So feel free to make adjustments to this basic recipe. Start by making the easy stock. You can cook it down to a more concentrated form if you want and freeze it to use later in making soup.
Homemade Turkey Soup
Make the Stock:
- 1 turkey carcass
- Cold water
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- Several sprigs of fresh parsley
- 1 to 2 sprigs of thyme, or a teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 celery rib (roughly chopped) and some celery tops
- 5 to 10 peppercorns
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- Place turkey carcass in 8-12 quart pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add remaining ingredients.
- Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 4 hours or more, partially uncovered, occasionally skimming off any foam that forms on surface. Remove bones and pour stock through fine mesh strainer. Makes about 3-4 quarts of stock.
Make the Soup:
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups each, chopped carrots, onion, and celery
- Fresh chopped parsley (about 2 to 4 Tbs.)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Seasoning: a few teaspoons, or more, of poultry seasoning (to taste), or a combination of ground sage, thyme, marjoram, and/or a bouillon cube
- 2 cups, or more, of leftover chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Egg noodles or rice (optional)
- In a large soup pot, heat butter or olive oil and add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Cook until onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the cooked stock to the pot along with seasonings, salt and pepper, more parsley, and bouillon cube (if using).
- Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are done. Add rice or noodles and chopped turkey meat. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with a dash or two of Tabasco. (Recipe adapted from SeriousEats.com and my mother’s recipe.)