I can show you how to make the best Homemade Turkey Soup recipe with your leftover turkey! Delicious soup from scratch is the best leftover recipe ever!
OK, so here’s another one of those stories about how I didn’t like something and now I do. Soup. Hated it.
The wife tried to get me on board with homemade soup for 10 years. It just wasn’t my thing, unless it was a thick chowder or broccoli cheese soup.
The turning point was long before I started Mantitlement, because soup was one of the first recipes I had in mind to make. Also it might have had something to do with this Beefy Tomato Soup recipe, which has become one of our favorites.
And I’m pretty sure one day she just made soup and said that’s what was for dinner. Eat it or don’t, it’s up to you.
I guess if it works on the kids…it works on adults too.
So I did. I ate the soup for dinner and is was the best thing I had ever tasted. This Homemade Turkey Soup recipe is now probably one of my most favorite dinners to eat.
Funny how stuff like that happens.
Every year we take turns going to the wife’s family or mine on Thanksgiving and every time we got to my mom’s house we take a big pot with us. She doesn’t make homemade turkey soup with her leftover turkey bones…so we grab them and take them home with us.
Crazy, right? Not that she doesn’t make homemade turkey soup, but crazy that we bring pots with us for leftover turkey bones.
We did cook a Thanksgiving turkey this year, big but basic, here it is –
After everyone has devoured that delicious bird, let’s fast forward to the next day when you’re thinking about making this recipe from scratch…
Homemade Turkey Soup Ingredients
These are all the basic ingredients you’re going to need to make this turkey soup recipe…
Celery, carrots, onions, noodles, seasonings like kosher salt and black pepper, leftover turkey and the rest of the turkey carcass.
As you’ll see in the recipe below, you can cook your noodles right in the soup or you can make them separately and add them in to each bowl.
How To Make Homemade Turkey Soup
First of all, you need to break down that bird. Start by removing the rest of the turkey meat from the turkey bones and setting it aside.
You might need to break down the carcass to to fit it into your pot, we have a pretty big soup pot so our 21 pound turkey fit but if yours doesn’t simply break the bones down to fit.
Throw in a couple of onions cut into large pieces, some celery and carrots. Add in a few bay leaves, salt and peppercorns and water.
The key to making the most flavorful turkey broth is that you want to cover the bones and vegetables with water just to the top of the ingredients.
Not too much over the top because then your broth will be weak.
As you can see we added a few seasonings in here too – lots of salt, peppercorns and a bay leaf or two.
Let the pot come to a boil and then reduce the heat down to medium heat, cover and simmer.
Depending on how big your turkey was will depend on how long you need to simmer the broth, but I’d say a good average is about 3 hours. Our bird was huge so I did 3 1/2.
Once the stock is done, strain it into another large pot, let it cool and stick it in the fridge. You’ll want it to chill for a few hours so you can strain off whatever fat rises to the top.
Strain as much fat off the top as you can, no one wants greasy broth!
If you don’t want to make soup with all of your turkey stock just take out what you need and save or freeze the rest. We usually make the whole thing because we eat a ton of soup in my house.
Finally, you can add in chopped carrots and celery, pieces of turkey leftover from your bird and adjust the seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. You can also cook whatever noodles your using right in the soup, you don’t have to boil them separately.
Seems like the vote is split on that, some like the pasta cooked separate so they don’t get all blown out in the broth when you’re eating the leftovers.
We almost always make this soup recipe with the noodles right in the broth, our leftovers don’t sit around too long to worry about blow out pasta!
If you weren’t a soup junkie before you certainly will be after making this recipe!
Looking For More Soup Recipes?
Turn your leftover turkey into a meal that lasts for days! We love making this soup with our leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!
For the stock
- 1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat and large pieces of skin and fat
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut in fourths
- 5 celery stalks, including the leafy tops, cut into large pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons – 4 Tablespoons of salt
- 1 T. peppercorns
For the soup
- 1 batch of turkey stock
- 4-5 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cups leftover turkey meat
- 1 bag (12 oz) egg noodles
- fresh thyme for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the turkey carcass to a large stock pot.
- Add in the onions, bay leaves, carrots, celery, salt and peppercorns.
- Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the turkey, too much water will result in a weak stock.
- Set the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to a good simmer and let cook for 2-3 hours.
- Drain the stock into another smaller stock pot and let cool.
- Once cooled for about an hour on the counter, put in the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until you can see the fat start to separate to the top.
- Skim the fat off the top as much as you can and place your pot back on the stove.
- Add in the diced carrots, celery and salt and pepper to taste and cook 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the pasta and turkey pieces and cook until the pasta is done, another 10 minutes.
- Test for seasonings again and serve.
Everyone cooks and seasons their turkey differently so the salt and pepper are to taste depending on how salty the stock is when it’s done.
The key to this recipe is that whatever size chicken or turkey you use, just add enough water to cover the top of the bones and the vegetables. So a larger turkey or chicken will yield more soup than a smaller one.
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