Turkey is good to the bone. As soon as you get through picking over that carcass, throw the bone pile in the biggest pot you have and get ready to make a delicious post-Thanksgiving soup. I write about this every year, usually before Thanksgiving, so you don’t inadvertently toss the carcass out or send it home with Aunt Clara.
After a few hours of cooking the bones with a few vegetables and some seasonings, you can pitch them, knowing you’ve gotten full value from your holiday bird.
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.)