Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe. A Classic Thanksgiving Left-Over Turkey Soup
Ah, the beauty of a turkey carcass…
That pile of bones and pickings that tends to sit drying in the fridge for a week or so until the family revolts against even one more meal of leftovers – and it gets tossed.
Such a tragedy! Ah well…
I make soup a lot. The from scratch kind with the boiling of bones and all that. Most people never do, and that's such a shame…especially when a lot of these never-make soup-from-scratch people are in possession of a primed poultry carcass in the fridge once or twice a year!
So this year, after the big dinner and after a day or two of leftovers, take what's left of that bird and make up a big batch of really really great, late fall turkey soup.
The beauty of this soup is really in its simplicity. Even after you've removed all the meat you can off of the turkey, what's left retains a lot of that roasted turkey flavor, and if it was stuffed, that stuffing perfumes the broth with a ready made herb and spice mix. This soup really needs little more than a few veggies and salt!
Disclaimer – this is not fancy food. This is plain Jane good eating warm homey home food. And it's good.
Leftover Turkey Soup
- 1 leftover roasted turkey
- 2 carrots, chopped roughly
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- A bit of butter
- In a large soup pot, heat a good spoonful of butter over medium, and when melted toss in the chopped onion.
- Sautee the onion until softened, but not browned, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add in the carrots and sauté for a couple of minutes as well.
- Take your turkey carcass and place it into the pot. If possible, squish it down so that it becomes more densely compacted (Meaning you will need less water to cover)
- Reduce the heat to medium low
- Add enough cold water to just barely cover the turkey bones, and bring the water up to a gentle simmer. (This will take a while, but starting with cold water and bringing the heat up slowly will make for a tastier and more flavorful soup. And besides, it's a late fall afternoon – sit back with a book and relax already!).
- Toss in a bay leaf or two.
- As it comes to a simmer, skim off any scum that accumulates on top, and then just let it be, simmering gently away for about 2 hours.
- 2 hours later, remove the bones from the soup, and if there is any meat left on the turkey, strip it off and add it back into the soup.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This soup can be eaten right away, but is even better served the day after, after getting a day to mellow in the fridge. Additionally, letting the soup cool in the fridge prior to serving allows the fats to solidify atop the broth for very easy removal (If desired).
That's it - Warm and homey and very satisfying – and a far preferable alternative to yet another meal of boring leftovers.