Good to the Bone
Whatever you do, don’t throw away that turkey carcass! Pull the last bit of meat off those bones and toss ‘em in the biggest pot you’ve got—-preferably a cauldron. At least, a pot the size of a tuba, as Louie Armstrong always advised for soup making.
I write about turkey soup every year, usually after Thanksgiving, so you don’t inadvertently toss the carcass out or send it home with Aunt Clara.
Keep in mind that making turkey soup is an imprecise science. So feel free to make adjustments to this basic recipe. (Printable recipe for Turkey Soup) But, basically, here’s what’s involved:
Pick turkey from carcass, toss remains in a large pot, and cover with cold water.
Add a large, chopped onion, two carrots, and a rib of celery, including tops. Season with some parsley, thyme, a bay leaf and 6-8 peppercorns, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Simmer, partially covered, for 4 hours or more. Skim off any crud that forms.
Now you should have several quarts of great turkey stock. Run through a sieve to get a clear broth and discard the veggies–they’ve given up their flavor.
Freeze stock or proceed to making your soup.
In butter or olive oil, brown 1 to 1-1/2 cups each of chopped carrots, onions, and celery for about 10 minutes. Add about 3 Tbs. chopped parsley and 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 tsp. poultry seasoning.
Pour that wonderful stock into the mix. (Add a chicken bouillon cube, if you want to intensify the flavor.) Cook until veggies are tender.
Add a handful of egg noodles and toss in 2 cups of leftover turkey. Test for any need of salt or pepper. Add a dash of Tabasco for an extra jolt.