Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Soup

Turkey Soup:

Where did the week go? I hope everyone had a fun-filled Thanksgiving break! We had a restful break but it did go fast. My 9 year old son Tyler made a comment this morning that he couldn’t believe it was back to school already and in the same breath he asked me when were we going to decorate for Christmas. I took a sip of my cold coffee and a big deep breath and told him not yet! Mommy needs some time to catch up with it all.  I wish I had a button to slow things down, but then again I guess if everyone could they would.

One thing that I love about Thanksgiving is all the leftovers. I made this delicious but simple Turkey Soup which we all will enjoy for days.  I’m getting it cracking for Christmas! Yikes!

Happy Holidays!

Ali in the Valley

Photo by: Ali


  1. 2 quarts turkey or chicken broth

  2. 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed

  3. 1 1/2  onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced

  4. 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 2 carrot, minced

  5. 1 whole stalk celery, plus 2 more stalk, minced

  6. 2 bay leaves

  7. 3 cups turkey meat

  8. 2 garlic cloves, smashed

  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil

  10. 3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans)

  11. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, thyme,  sage leaves

  12. 5 peppercorns


Making Stock:

Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass. Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don’t take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren’t used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven’t been used already. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer. Skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock. Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper. You can always add salt to the soup later. Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.  If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, at a bare simmer, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Turkey Soup:

Prepare the turkey soup much as you would a chicken soup. With your stock already made, add additional fresh chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, a couple cloves of garlic. Add seasoning – poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a bouillon cube. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.  Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. You may also want to add some chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned. Add salt and pepper to taste.  And a dash of hot sauce. Enjoy!

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