Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turkey Soup!

I know there is a rooster on these linens, but the turkeys are all packed away until next Thanksgiving!

Almost as much as turkey dinner, my family loves homemade turkey soup! Whenever I cook a turkey I always save the carcass and any extra drippings, because they can be used to make a wonderful stock.  (I'm sorry for not posting about this sooner. If you already discarded the turkey bones from your Thanksgiving meal, you can pin this recipe on Pinterest or print it out to use next time.) If you roast a chicken instead of a turkey, you can follow this same method and make chicken soup.

The stock doesn't have to be made immediately after you cook the poultry.  If you prefer, remove most of the meat off the bones, break the carcass up a bit, and store the bones and any skin in a sealed plastic freezer bag or container until you are ready to use it.  If you do this, be sure to also freeze any leftover drippings and some of the leftover meat, as these will also be added to the soup.

I have never really followed a recipe when I have made this soup, but over the years I have made a lot of notes, tweaking this procedure a little each time! As I made turkey stock and soup this week, however, I wrote down all the ingredients and each step of the process -  so I could share the recipes with you.

Feel free to make as many changes as you like - but these guidelines produce amazingly delicious results.

Turkey Stock


  1. Break up turkey carcass a bit (with meat removed) so that it takes up less room. 
  2. Put turkey bones and any skin in a large stockpot.
  3. Add enough water so that bones are completely covered.
  4. If you have any leftover turkey drippings, add them now.
  5. Add about 1 tsp. salt.
  6. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer.
  7. Let stock simmer for at least 3 or 4 hours, uncovered.  Occasionally use a large spoon to remove any foam that comes to the surface.
  8. About an hour or two before the stock finishes cooking, add 1 shallot, chopped; 2 carrots, chopped; 2 stalks celery (with tops), chopped; thyme (3 fresh sprigs or 1/2 tsp. dried); 1 bay leaf; parsley (2 tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp dried) and 1 tsp. ground pepper.
  9. Let cool slightly.  Remove bones and vegetables; discard.
  10. Place a fine mesh strainer on top of a large bowl.(Or, line a colander with cheesecloth and place on top of a bowl.)
  11. Pour the stock through the strainer and discard any solid pieces.
  12. If you are immediately making soup, clean the pot before adding the desired amount of stock back in to it.

Turkey Soup


Quantities listed are simply suggestions: feel free to adjust to your personal preferences and according to how much soup you desire to make.

turkey stock, 12 - 16 cups 
olive oil, 2 tbsp.
carrots, 1 cup, chopped 
celery, 1 cup, chopped 
onion, 1 medium, chopped
fresh green beans, 1 cup, chopped (and /or frozen peas, 1 cup)
garlic, 2 cloves 
parsley, 2 tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried 
Herbes de Provence, 1 tsp.
poultry seasoning, 1 tsp.  
chicken bouillon, 1 or 2 tsp. (optional, but I think it enhances the turkey flavor)
turkey meat, 2 cups, cut or shredded into bite sized pieces
hot sauce, 1 or 2 dashes (I use Tabasco sauce)
salt and pepper, to taste
pasta, cooked just until tender (Al dente), 1 or 2 cups  (i.e. egg noodles, small shells, gemelli, or elbow macaroni all are good choices)


  1. Add olive oil to a large stockpot, and heat over med-high heat.
  2. Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, green beans and minced garlic.
  3. Salute until onion is soft and translucent, and other vegetables are just beginning to get tender.  
  4. Pour the turkey stock into the pot with the vegetables.
  5. Add seasonings and chicken bouillon.
  6. Add frozen peas. (optional)
  7. Continue to simmer until all vegetables are tender.
  8. If you haven't already done so, cook the pasta while vegetables are simmering.
  9. Add shredded turkey.
  10. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce.
  11. If soup will all be consumed immediately, add pasta directly to the pot.                                            If you anticipate leftovers, serve past separately, adding desired amount to the bottom of each bowl before filling bowls with soup. This will keep pasta from becoming overcooked if soup is kept warm for long or reheated.
  12. Serve with crusty bread, biscuits, or crackers
Note: It is wise to keep a little of the stock reserved, in case you wish to thin down the soup after you have added all of the vegetables and meat.

I froze enough for another meal during the Christmas holiday!

My daughter headed back to college before I was able to make this soup.  Since she loves it, I froze enough for a meal when she comes home for Christmas. All I will have to do is thaw it, heat it, and boil some noodles to add to it.  Quick and easy - and everyone will be happy!

What is your favorite soup? Do you make or buy it?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. Turkey Soup is the best part of Thanksgiving!

    1. The holiday just doesn't seem complete without it!

  2. Each winter we make a hearty vegetable soup - which is so thick and chunky that it could almost be eaten with a fork. I make it in HUGE quantities, freeze the excess and bring it out when I want quick, tasty comfort.

    1. How lovely! And yes, it is always wonderful to have soup in the freezer for a quick meal!

  3. Hi Susan! Just got back from vacation and trying to get caught up on all my favorite blogs! This looks delicious and I will definitely pin it to try!

    1. Welcome back Lana! I hope your trip was absolutely wonderful!

  4. Oh I have to remember this for next year! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Susan!

    1. I hope you had a good holiday as well Raquel - and that if you make the soup next year, you love it!


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