After much trial and error I managed to create a leftover turkey soup recipe that actually has some flavor. It’s done in two parts, so you can spread out the preparation over the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

Part 1: The Broth

1 Turkey carcass – Make note of its pre-cooked weight as you’ll need it to figure out the rest of the broth ingredients. For every 6 pounds of pre-cooked turkey weight you’ll need the following:

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 ounces vinegar – up to 4 ounces (the vinegar helps draw the calcium out of the bones)
  • 1 celery stalk, broken in half
  • 1/2 carrot, quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 whole peppercorns
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon salt or powdered turkey/chicken bullion

So if your bird was up to 6 pounds when you bought it you would use one set of ingredients, 7-12 pounds would be double, 13-18 triple…

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot or kettle. Bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer. Cook, covered, 2 to 3 hours. Strain through a colander, reserving broth.

When the bones are cool enough to handle remove meat and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the soup. I hate to waste food, so instead of discarding the vegetables I usually run them through my food processor, with a little of the broth, and pour them back into the remaining broth before chilling. Once the both is well chilled you can remove the fat from the surface.

Makes approximately 4 cups of broth per “6 pounds”.


Part 2: The Soup

Depending on how big your turkey was you can either make this recipe straight, or double it. Additional canned broth (turkey or chicken) can be added to make up for any shortcomings in the homemade department (and any extra homemade broth can be frozen for another day).

  • 8 cups turkey broth
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 16 ounce bag frozen whole kernel corn
  • 16 ounce bag frozen baby lima beans
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles

Bring the broth to boiling in a large pot or kettle with the remaining salt, and the pepper, thyme, and turmeric. Add onion, corn, beans, and turkey. Return the soup to boiling.

Add the egg noodles. Lower heat to keep soup simmering; cover and cook until egg noodles are cooked through, approximately 10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings