On Leftover Turkey Soup

Sometimes, I think my husband prefers the leftovers from Thanksgiving to the meal itself.

Sometimes, I don’t blame him.

My favorite post Thanksgiving meal is a slab of perfectly moist roast turkey breast on a fresh, buttered roll. There’s something about that combination that makes me utterly happy. This year, I made a fresh cranberry sauce for the first time, and that hint of tartness with the fresh turkey also made me utterly happy. In fact, we dipped fresh apple and pear slices into the warm sauce as an appetizer this year, and we generally agreed that we’ll have to try that again.

However, the day after Thanksgiving, the “leftover” meal of choice is turkey soup.

This starts by breaking down the leftover turkey carcass from the day before. At this point, the carcass should have been carved away, leaving bones with minimal meat attached. This year, I roasted a turkey breast rather than an entire bird, and it just fit into my 12-quart pot.

For this recipe, you will need:

1 leftover turkey carcass, carefully chilled after carving

Two to three cups of leftover veggie tray vegetables: carrots, celery, and green pepper slices are my favorites.

1 cup of diced yellow onion

Two bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1 t. dried thyme (more or less to taste)

1/2 t. granulated garlic or equivalent fresh chopped garlic

Leftover roast turkey, 1-2 cups diced

Egg noodles or rice

Put the carcass in the stock pot, and cover with cold water. Set on the stove to bring to a boil over medium heat. Add your chopped veggies and seasonings. Cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, back the temperature down to low and simmer for at least two hours. At that point, remove the bones from the stock. Taste. Add two to three bullion cubes to boost the stock if necessary, and salt and pepper to taste. Dice any leftover turkey slices to add to the pot. Bring back to a boil, then add noodles or rice. Cook until the noodles or rice are done, then serve.

It usually yields enough to serve for a couple of meals. We serve one immediately, then I bag the rest in a one-gallon Ziplock freezer bag to transfer straight to the freezer for another meal later.