One of the best ways to use up your holiday leftovers is to make a turkey carcass soup when you are done with your roast turkey. This is a great waste not, want not recipe to make sure you are making the most out of your food!
How to Make Turkey Soup From Scratch
If you want to make turkey soup from scratch you are going to have to start with using up your leftover turkey, whether it’s from my deconstructed turkey This is the best way to use up your roast turkey, making a soup that is loaded with healthy vegetables, lean turkey meat and a homemade broth. I like to also add in wild rice to make it a meal in a bowl!
1.Break Down The Roast Turkey
Take the roast turkey and remove all of the meat from the bones and place in a container. Break the turkey carcass apart at the joints where you can, in order to be able to fit it into the soup pot. Remove all the skin and fatty parts as well.
2.Simmer the Turkey Carcass
Place the turkey pieces into a large stock pot. You now have to add the seasonings. Throw in a large onion cut into quarters, 2 carrots cut in thirds, 2 celery stalks ( if you have the leafy tops those are amazing for flavour, add them in!) . Add in 2 tbsp of salt, 5-6 peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 2-3 springs fresh parsley if possible and then cover the turkey with water, just to the top of it. Simmer for 3-4 hours until the turkey bones are starting to break down, the meat is falling off the bone and the broth is looking nicely colored.
3.Remove the Carcass and Strain
Remove the carcass from the soup pot carefully and set aside. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer then return to the pot.
4.Add the Remaining Soup Ingredients
Add in the rest of the soup ingredients and cook until the vegetable are soft and the rice has cooked completely.
Tips & Tricks for Making Turkey Soup from a Carcass
- The key to this fast and easy turkey carcass soup recipe is removing the fat BEFORE you make the broth. A lot of recipes will have you cool the turkey broth and then skim the fat off the top, but when I am making the soup I want it THAT DAY, and I’m not usually making it for another time. Remove the skin, the fat and clean up the bones and you will have a soup that has just the right amount of flavour from fat.
- When you are removing the meat, chop it into the small pieces for the soup and measure out the two cups of meat while you are doing that, it saves a ton of time.
- Only use enough water to cover the bones and vegetables in your soup pot. If you use too much water you are going to have a weak broth.
- If you want to make more broth, you can add more water but you will have to compensate for diluting the flavour by adding store-bought chicken or turkey stock of you own to the homemade broth.This is totally ok if you want to make a large batch and have a smaller turkey!
- Skim any foam off the top of your simmering soup while you are cooking it for the three hours. This does NOT need to be in the soup!
Make This Turkey Carcass Soup From the BEST Roast Turkey Recipe!
Now, if you need a foolproof method to make the best, most render and juicy turkey ever, try my Roast Turkey recipe. That recipe is the best method of cooking a turkey, period. I have tried it all. Breast down, red wine, convection, low and slow, fast and furious, and THAT method in that recipe yielded the best turkey I have ever made. if you are looking for another great leftover turkey recipe, try my Turkey Pot Pie, that is a great recipe for using up the extra meat, while this turkey carcass soup uses up the bones.
This turkey carcass soup will definitely be simmering on my stove top on Boxing Day if we make turkey for Christmas this year! I think we might be having prime rib this year, but if I know my Mom, there will be a small roast turkey at some point during the holidays, I just know it. You can make this into a turkey noodle soup, simply skip the rice and add in precooked egg noodles once the vegetables are done cooking.
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How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 4 hours
- Total Time
- 3 hours 10 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
Turkey Stock Ingredients
- 1 turkey carcass cleaned of skin, fat and meat
- 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 5 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 2-3 sprigs fresh parlsey or 2 tsp dry
- water to top
Turkey Soup Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 4-5 large carrots diced large
- 3-4 stalks celery diced large
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 2 cups diced turkey meat
- 8-10 cups turkey stock
- 1 cup wild rice mix
- Break the turkey carcass apart at the joints where you can, in order to be able to fit it into the soup pot. Remove all the skin and fatty parts as well.
- Place the turkey pieces into a large stock pot. Add the onion, the carrots and the celery stalks ( if you have the leafy tops those are amazing for flavour, add them in!) .
- Add in the salt, peppercorns, bay leaves,,fresh parsley, and then cover the turkey with water, just to the top of it.
- Simmer for 3-4 hours until the turkey bones are starting to break down, the meat is falling off the bone and the broth is looking cloudy.
- Remove the carcass from the soup pot carefully and set aside. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer then place in another pot.
Turkey Soup Ingredients
- Chose the soup pot that you want to use, then add in the butter. Fry the onions until soft, then add in the celery and carrots. Fry for another 4-5 minutes, then add in the poultry seasoning. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add in the turkey meat, the broth and the rice, Stir. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the rice is done and the vegetables are soft.
- Serve and enjoy.
- If you want to reduce the stock, after you strain it you can return it to the same pot and boil it until it's reduced. This will make it stronger tasting.
- I have estimated that you will have around 8-10 cups of broth when you are done cooking to use in your soup. If you made more than that, simply store the extra in a container and freeze for later!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
Mary McKinney says
Loved this! The wild rice rice was a great alternative to noodles.
Absolutely delicious! So flavorful and hearty. Perfect meal for a cold winter’s night.
Christina Hunter says
Can the soup be cooked in a crockpot or will the rice overcook?
Best Turkey soup recipe! My Turkey soup never tasted soooo good!
I added frozen green beans, peas & corn. I had extra stock & a Turkey breast carcass in the freezer so I will be making another batch.
Thank you for this recipe!
This sounds good.
I see nowhere that we are told what to do with the 2 celery, 2 carrots, & quarted large white onion that was used to make the stock?
please let me know your thoughts.
Mike T says
This was absolutely superb, the one change I would suggest — and I say this as someone who usually oversalts things and likes it — is that I’d suggest dialing the salt back by about a third because with 8 1/2 cups of broth it came out very, VERY salty.
i followed this recipe exactly and everyone loved it
i used potatoes instead of rice was the only “change”.this will be my soup recipe every year now
This is the most easy and wonderful tasting soup ..I have always had concerns about the broth being rich enough. This came out splendid . I did not have poultry seasoning so used Italian.
This recipe is a KEEPER ..
Ellen Wilson says
Since turkey time is typically limited to a certain time of year (well, maybe Easter too), the same process can be used with the chickens from Costco, which usually render more flavor when including the skin when boiling the carcass. In addition to the recipe above, I use Better than Bullion to add more flavor if the broth is a little weak, and also add thyme and a bit of garlic to contribute to the richness in flavor. Just as a hint if you’re new to ‘kitchen sink’ soups, which I consider this carcass recipe, since it’s essentially made with ‘leftovers’, I choose the protein (chicken, pork, beef, turkey, etc.), and add either rice, pasta (there are so many!), or beans (lentils, pintos, mayocoba, etc.), in order to create a unique meal.
Elsa B Walton says
No grandma. I am self-taught and have an interest but little cooking talent. Every year I cover the turkey carcass with water and try to make turkey soup. Whether with turkey meat, noodles, or potatoes, the soup has always been tasteless and forgettable. Most recipes do not say how much stock is to be used in the soup recipe. The amount of liquid is left blank. This is the only recipe I’ve found that gives the amount of stock to be used for the soup. I began with 18 cups of stock and I boiled it down to the recommended 8 – 10 cups. Then I followed this simple soup recipe. With tomatoes and rice, It is flavorful and delicious. I am delighted and amazed. My husband loved it and ate two bowls. Hurray. Now I can look forward to making turkey soup!