You nailed the turkey yesterday, didn’t you? Then you enjoyed that epic turkey sandwich at midnight… the one with the stuffing and cranberry sauce. But now you’re wondering what to do with the rest of that turkey and those bones that still have some meat on them. Whatever you do, don’t throw them out! They are the answer to the perfect soup.
My Day-After-Thanksgiving-Turkey Soup is the reason I volunteer to make the Thanksgiving turkey every year. Follow the steps below for warm, comforting, easier-than-you-think turkey soup!
1. Make sure that you’ve removed any of the usable meat you can from the carcass. Reserve this for later.
2. Grab a stock pot (or a pot large enough pot to fit the turkey carcass) and put the carcass in the pot (you can break it up if you need to). If you haven’t eaten or thrown away the turkey neck, you can add that in too! Fill the pot with just enough cold water to cover the carcass (probably 2-3 gallons depending on the size of your pot and the size of your turkey).
3. Cut an onion in half (don’t even worry about peeling it – the skin actually has flavor- and you’ll strain this all out later). Add a few whole carrots (again, no need to peel) and a few stalks of celery (leaves and all) to the pot. This is your chance to add flavor. I also add peppercorns, a bay leaf (or two), some salt, and the fresh herbs I have left over from Thanksgiving.
4. Turn your stove on high and bring the stock to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer for 4-6 hours.
5. Turn the heat off and carefully remove the carcass from the pot and strain the stock through a sieve to catch any impurities, meat, vegetables, etc. Keep the meat for later. The stock will have a rich yellow color.
6. Skim off any excess fat off the top. The fat will congeal on the top if you have time to chill it, but if you’re like me, and are too hungry to wait, don’t worry, it’ll be just as delicious.
7. On to the soup! While your stock is heating up again, chop your vegetables to the desired size. I like carrots, onions, celery. I also add frozen peas at the very end if I have them.
8. Toss in the vegetables, 1 cup rice/pasta (or as desired), and 2-3 cups of leftover turkey meat. Simmer until the vegetable and rice/pasta are cooked through.
9. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
10. Serve up a big bowl of your homemade turkey soup and garnish with crackers, or in this case, I made some cornbread croutons by throwing some cornbread (drizzled with melted butter) from Thanksgiving into the oven.
By making this soup, your house will smell incredible, you'll use up every bit of that Thanksgiving turkey, and you'll have a gorgeous batch of soup that you can either eat now or freeze for later. Now that you’ve tackled the turkey soup, come on in to The Chopping Block to take our Cold Weather Soups and Stews, or Stew and Ragu cooking classes. Better yet, be sure to take advantage of our Sizzling Savings Gift Card (we’ll give you $180 for $160) and you’ll have enough to take both classes, and some wine to enjoy with your soup. Cheers to years of soup making to come!