Homemade Turkey Soup can be a perfect way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. The leftover turkey bones are simmered to create a flavourful broth and fresh vegetables and pasta round it out to make a hearty lunch or dinner. This broth is especially tasty if you pre-brined your turkey for baking as it will already have some infused flavour.
You can actually start this soup as soon as you finish the big holiday meal. To prepare you simply remove all the meat from the turkey carcass and set it aside for sandwiches and extra meat for the soup. You can then transfer the carcass, skin, leftover turkey drippings and turkey bones into a pot of cold water. Then by adding some simple ingredients you bring this all to a slow simmer to create a wonderfully flavourful broth for the base of your soup.
While simmering the bones you can prep the vegetables by finely chopping the onion, celery stalk and leaves, and carrots to precook before adding to the broth. A secret ingredient I like to add is a little spritz of fresh lemon juice. This brightens up the taste of the broth and also reduces the amount of salt.
This soup is such a nice casual meal to have with cheese and crackers, and maybe a little Kielbasa. It always feels so good to use up leftovers and make a good soup 🙂
- 1 turkey carcass or leftover bones, skin and drippings
- 2 or 3 cups water or enough to cover the turkey
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium white onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 cups chopped carrots or 2 medium
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat
- 1/2 cup ditalini pasta or comparable sized small pasta optional
- Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
- Add turkey carcass, bones, skin and drippings to a large pot or dutch oven. Pour cold water over the bones to be about an inch above the bones.
- Add bay leaves, peppercorns and chicken broth and bring to medium-high heat to a low boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover and let simmer for at least an hour.
- In a separate large pot add olive oil, onions, celery, carrots and bring to medium heat. Let cook until the veg has slightly softened. Add in parsley and season with salt and pepper taste.
- Once the broth has cooked for an hour or two, remove from heat and use a strainer over a large bowl or measuring cup to drain and remove bones to discard.
- Pour drained broth into vegetable mixture and add turkey pieces, pasta, and lemon juice. Bring to a slow boil and reduce to simmer for another hour.
- Let the soup mixture simmer and thicken up from the pasta and veg. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.