Turkey Carcass Soup (yes, seriously)

What’s my inspiration?

Leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass.  Need I say more?  I don’t have to but I will because I can’t help it.  So how does one go about getting a turkey carcass when they don’t even host Thanksgiving?  Just ask.  I did.  My brother-in-law looked at me with concerned confusion and said “what?”.  I repeated, “Can I have the turkey carcass?”.  He followed with a questioning “sure” and proceeded to place it in a plastic Target bag.  Totally hilarious to me for some reason.  As he handed it over to one excited guest, he looked at me as if I had lost my mind.  Clearly, turkey carcass soup was not something on his bucket list of things to try.


Regardless, I understand turkey “carcass” sounds totally nasty.  But trust me, it makes a fabulous stock for your soup.  When you add more turkey, carrots, celery, noodles and seasoning, it’s truly delicious!  So go ahead, creep out your family and make them a fabulous carcass soup.  Mmmm!

What you need – stock & soup:
  • 1 turkey carcass and some leftover turkey (for stock)
  • 2 white or yellow onions (for stock & soup)
  • 1 large bag of carrots (for stock & soup)
  • 1 bag of celery (for stock & soup)
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms (for soup)
  • Parsley (for stock & soup)
  • Thyme (for stock & soup)
  • Bay leaf (for stock)
  • Peppercorns (for stock)
  • Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and chicken bouillon cube for seasoning soup
  • 1/2 bag egg noodles (I use multi-grain)

What you do – stock: 

  • Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass  – set aside to add to soup later.
  • Add to large soup pot: 1 onion (quartered), 1/4 of the carrots (chopped), celery tops, parsley, thyme, 1 bay leaf, and some peppercorns.  **Use your judgement when adding the spices, I would say about 1/2 teaspoon of each depending on how much stock you are making.
  • Break up the leftover bones of the carcass so they don’t take up too much room in the pot.
  • Put the bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water.
  • Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a minimal simmer.
  • As the soup simmers, skim off any foam that may float to the top of the stock.
  • Cook for at least 4 hours partially uncovered.

    Reduced stock

  • Strain the stock through a very fine mesh strainer removing all bones, vegetables, etc.

What you do – soup:

  • Cook egg noodles and set aside
  • With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, mushrooms and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, and garlic.
  • Add seasoning – poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a bouillon cube.
  • Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
  • Add remaining shredded turkey meat to soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • At the very end, add the egg noodles and serve!

Try serving with beer bread!


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