Mom’s Turkey Soup

The amounts shown are a guideline. Improvise at will depending on the ingredients you have on hand and how much soup you are making.


For the stock:

  • 1 turkey carcass, leftover from carving a whole turkey, including any leftover drippings or giblets (not the liver) if you have them
  • Cold water
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, quartered or cut into thick wedges
  • 1 to 2 carrots, roughly chopped (can include tops)
  • Several sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of thyme, or a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 celery rib (roughly chopped) and some celery tops
  • 5 to 10 peppercorns
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the soup:

  • 3 to 4 quarts of the turkey stock you just made
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups each, chopped carrots, onion, and celery
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley, leaves chopped (about 2 to 4 Tbsp)
  • A couple cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning (more to taste) or a combination of ground sage, thyme, marjoram, and/or a bouillon cube
  • 2 to 4 cups of leftover chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat (don't use any of the meat from making the stock, the goodness will have been cooked out of it by then)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 8 ounces of egg noodles OR  1/2 to 1 cup dry rice (optional, skip egg noodles for gluten-free version)


Making the Turkey Stock

1 Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass to save for making sandwiches later or for adding to the soup once the stock is made.

2 Put turkey carcass, vegetables, drippings in large pot, cover with water: If you are working with a large turkey carcass, you may want to break up the bones a bit so they fit better in the pot. Place the turkey carcass, neck (if you haven't cooked it with the turkey), leftover skin and bones from dinner, into a large stock pot (at least 8 quart or 12 quart depending on the size of the turkey), and cover with COLD water by an inch.


Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (not the liver) that haven't been used already. Add thickly sliced onion, some chopped carrots, celery and celery tops, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, and some peppercorns to the pot.


3 Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, skim foam: Bring to a boil on high heat and then lower the heat to keep the stock to a bare simmer. Skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock.


(Note in the photo that even though the stock is at a bare simmer, it looks like it is boiling because of the foam that is beginning to come to the surface.)

4 Add salt and pepper to the pot, about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. It sort of depends on how big your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later.

5 Cook for at least 4 hours, partially uncovered, occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface.


6 Strain the stock: After 4 hours of a low simmer, use tongs, a spider ladle, or a large slotted spoon to remove the bones and vegetables from the pot. Then strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve or strainer.

turkey-stock-method-5 turkey-stock-method-6

If you have a strainer but it isn't a fine mesh strainer, you can line it with cheesecloth or with several layers of dampened paper towels and strain the stock through that.

7 Reduce the stock: If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

(We usually do this step at a rolling boil, and reduce the stock by at least half. When you boil stock it will make it cloudy, but the taste is great so we don't care. If you want to reduce stock and keep it relatively clear, you'll need to do that slowly and a bare simmer, and it will take much longer.)

Makes 3 to 4 quarts or more of stock, depending on the size of the turkey carcass, and how much water you added to cover it.

Making the Turkey Soup

Prepare the turkey soup much as you would a chicken soup.

1 Sauté carrots, onions, celery in a large pot: In a large soup pot, heat some butter or olive oil (or turkey fat rendered from the stock) on medium high heat. Add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts (about a cup each). Cook until the onions are softened, about 10 minutes.

2 Add garlic, stock, parsley, seasonings: Add a couple cloves of garlic, chopped, and cook for a minute more, until the garlic is fragrant. Then add the stock to the pot. Add some parsley and seasoning—salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and/or a bouillon cube.

3 Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through (5 to 10 min).

4 Add turkey meat, noodles: Add noodles, rice, or even leftover mashed potatoes (skip all of these if you are cooking low-carb). If adding noodles, cook for 4 minutes. If adding rice, cook for 15 minutes.

Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add it to the soup. Cook for 1 more minute to warm the turkey meat.

You may also want to add some chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes a dash or two of Tabasco gives the soup a nice little kick.


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  • Jeffrey Eernisse

    I make this soup every year for the winter season, using the leftovers from Thanksgiving. My family are already rubbing their hands about the soup before I even get the turkey cooked on Thanksgiving Day!


  • Lorraine Negley

    One thing I do is prepare my stock a day ahead. Do not like the fat that rises when stock gets cold. I skim it off & discard it. I feel the stock is much healthier & more still has wonderful flavor. Might add that I am cooking the whole carcass when cooking mine Including skin.

  • Jon

    I never leave reviews, however, I feel I must with this one. I made this with the leftover turkey I smoked. I followed the recipe exactly and leaned to the 1 1/2 cup size for each of the soup veggies. I fried them in 50/50 olive oil and butter. To me it felt odd to dump all the ingredients used to make the broth, but I did. And I will from now on. The broth was thick and excellent and had reduced to less than 50% of what I started with. The soup was fresh and delicious and I am looking forward to the leftover bowl for lunch today. 5 stars!


  • Ann

    My first time making turkey soup. So easy to make and tasty! I used thermos shuttle chef instead of long simmering time. My husband was impressed!


  • Elizabeth

    The best turkey soup I ever made keep making it to this day!!


  • Suzanne Bowman

    Perfect recipe and everyone just loved it!! Thank you !


  • Lori

    I’m assuming there is a lot of turkey meat that should be kept to the side after the 4 hr boil?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lori, well this turkey soup is made from the leftover carcass of a turkey that you’ve already cooked and served. Usually we have a cup or two of leftover turkey meat to cut or shred and add to the soup when it is all done and ready to serve.

  • Kat

    Yum, just like moms but w instructions/measurements! Next time I want to add leftover gravy, do I add at the beginning w the bones or later in the soup?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kat, I would add gravy at the end, when you are constructing the soup. The first part is really just to make the stock. I know people who even add leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing to their soup! Makes it more stew-like but I’m sure it’s delicious.

  • Karen

    This was my first attempt at homemade turkey stock/soup after Thanksgiving and it was amazing. Thank you so much for the step by step directions!


  • Angela

    Hi Elise,
    I made Mom’s Turkey Soup and my husband said, “Usually it tastes better the second day, but this is terrific day one.” I have to agree. Best turkey soup I have made..hands down. Thanks for a great recipe.


  • Lynn

    Love this! I added rutabaga and 1/2 cup of sherry. The house smelled amazing all day and it was everything we hoped for.


  • Kurt Abele

    most awesome turkey soup ever I made 16 quarts all gone offered some to my neighbor he wanted more and said, next time he will buy the turkey and I keep it he just wants the soup, thanks for sharing this great recipe

  • Danielle

    Awesome recipe! The family loved it. I added diced tomatoes which added another layer of flavor.


  • Amy

    This was great. I cooked the stock base for around 6 hours, it was perfect. It was really great to have after days of super heavy starchy meals. It felt like a nice break. Thanks for the recipe.


  • Michael

    I have made it every year and don’t bother with removing any stock – I boil the hell out of the bones then remove them before I add anything. I just wing it every year with the traditional ingredients and spices mentioned here -. BUT I also add barley grains and bit of rice and also egg noodles. I think the barley makes the soup.
    This stuff doesn’t stay around too long…


  • Jennifer

    I’m making the stock right now, it’s been going 2-3 hours and oh my god does my house smell fantastic. Better than it did while roasting the turkey originally. My stomach is growling (and I’m not even making the soup til tomorrow! Brutal!)
    I did brine my turkey this year so I have not added any salt (yet, anyway).


  • Ken

    Making this soup for the 3rd year in a row. It’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving, as I, too, always made this soup with my family as a kid. Thanks, Elise!


  • Jess

    I made this last year and I am so excited to do it again! It is an amazing soup recipe that is so simple yet so delicious!

    I always get the carcass from my dad because he does a delicious brined, smoked turkey. I literally do not have to add any salt or seasoning to the soup it is so good as is.

    The only thing I did differently is I cooked the stock veggies on medium-high for a minute or so in the soup pot (before adding the carcass) until they were a bit browned. It added a little extra depth of flavor.

    Also, I cooked it on low for 10 hours on a sunday while I watched movies. Such an awesome new tradition!


  • Carla

    I made this soup last night but didn’t add the turkey or noodles yet. If I’m going to freeze some of it, is it ok to add them before freezing or better to add when thawed?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carla, I would freeze the soup with the turkey but without the noodles. When you reheat, add the noodles and just cook for a couple of minutes.

  • Jessica

    I just finished making the stock part of this recipe. I strained it and it’s now in the fridge to cool overnight. I had to use my big canning pot to fit the carcass (14 lb turkey) and the vegetables so I have a loooot of stock… 2 big “soup” pots full. But probably only enough turkey for 1 round of soup. I know I can freeze the rest of the stock, but what can I make with it since I won’t have any turkey left?

  • Mike

    How much noodles do you put in? Also we put noodles in once before and it absorbed all the liquid, is there a way to prevent that? Also is this freezer friendly?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mike, the amount of noodles depends on how much stock you’ve added to your soup, and how noodle-ly you would like your soup to be. I would start with 4 ounces of dry noodles. You can always add more as noodles take only 5 minutes to cook in the broth. The soup can be frozen (without noodles) for up to 3 months.

  • Jessie

    Stock is done and he house smells amazing! Used a leftover smoked turkey carcass! Do you use 3-4 quarts of stock for the soup??

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jessie, it depends on how much soup we are making. When it’s the holidays and we have a bunch of people staying over for days, we use it all and make a big batch of soup that will last for days. If we have fewer people and don’t need to make as much soup, I fill mason jars (leaving at least an inch head room for expansion) and freeze the stock I don’t need. I’ll use it later on for various soups in place of chicken stock.

  • Geoffrey Rothwell

    ok, my French Italian wife said it wasn’t “soupe” if I didn’t take out the turkey and blend it into a “portage” with fennel. Then I made turkey tetrazzini after the “soup” course! I can’t think of any turkey desserts. Does anyone out there know what turkey deserts? (Probably ground turkey with ground pistachios, should I add cinnamon? make a kind of baklava? I have no idea what to do!)

    • Joe Mahmaa

      Geoffrey, this isn’t supposed to be French “soupe,” it’s a traditional American soup (the English word soup, not the French soupe from which it is derived but not perfectly interchangeable). Make it however you want, of course, though I have no desire to try or even think about any turkey desserts.

  • Dee

    Do you have to boil the noodles first, or just put them in dry?

  • Gina F.

    FANTASTIC Soup! Just perfect as is. We are a Gluten Free family and I served it over Schar brand GF Anellini pasta and it was divine. I followed the recipe as is with no modifications. I added lots of Turkey for a hearty meal that could stand alone.

  • Don Peterson

    Excellent recipe, esp for stock. I also had very little foam. I did not reduce. You can always add cooked noodles later to ensure they don’t get too soft. Home run!

  • Hugh

    Just made the stock last night and the soup today for lunch. It was awesome! We added 8 oz. of orzo instead of noodles and it was great! The picky teenagers gave it the thumbs up too!

  • Debra

    Elise, am wondering if the addition of fennel bulb would work as I love the flavor, but don’t want to overpower. How much should I use, and would you recommend adding it to the stock, or should I saute with the other aromatics for the soup? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Debra, great question! I find that the flavor of fennel bulb is rather subtle when cooked, so I don’t think it would overpower the soup. That said, you might start with adding a cup of chopped fennel in with the celery and onions when you make the soup (not the stock), just to get a sense of how the flavors play out. I usually don’t use all of the stock in one go when I make this soup.

  • Dawn

    Delish. I’ve been making this for over 40 years but I’m not the type that measures or times recipes, so this helps a lot for when I share my pics I can refer to your recipe. I just let stock simmer half the day. And it’s still too hot to work with AND past my bedtime (long story). But I’ll be making this tomorrow.

  • Rob

    I tried this wit the left over deep fried turkey.
    I made it in the crockpot. I let the stock simmer overnight.
    I added a little extra garlic and a teaspoon of oregano. Other than that, I followed the directions.
    What a crowd pleaser!!
    Everyone wanted the directions.

  • Lisa

    I made this today. Instead of egg noodles, I added cabbage. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Teri

    I’m making the stock now, so far so good. One question, can I use barely instead of rice or noodles? If yes how much would you recommend?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Teri, I haven’t used barley instead of the rice or noodles, but I think it would be fine! Perhaps 1 cup?

  • Alex

    The legs still not at temp turned turkey over put foil over breast- I’m scared don’t want to over. Cook it

  • Karen

    After you add the raw rice, how long should I let it simmer before the rice is cooked?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Karen! Emma, managing editor for Simply Recipes, here! You could either add cooked rice to the soup just before serving, or add raw rice about 30 minutes before you want to serve so that it has time to cook. (Brown rice will take a little longer.) Enjoy!

  • David

    Made the soup tonight but used some left over Turkey breast some dry soup mix and then some out of the can chicken stock. The flavour was amazing as it was so I can only guess even better with homemade turkey stock! Great recipe will make again

    • Maeda K

      It’s amazing what we can do with pantry items and a little imagination! Some of my BEST dishes were thrown together leftovers, reinvented! I once made beef veggie soup and put leftover spaghetti sauce and sauerkraut in it. It was the best soup I’ve ever eaten, and people couldn’t believe I used sauerkraut!

  • Jen

    Thanks for the recipe; it was definitely my best soup to date. I added fresh sage and marjoram and some crushed red pepper. And I used leeks instead of onion. It is absolutely delicious. :)

  • Helen

    Hi Elise. I have about 7 quarts of stock. About how much egg noodles would I use?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Helen, it all depends on how noodle-y you want your soup to be! 7 quarts is a lot of stock. So maybe 16 to 24 ounces of noodles?

  • Jacqueline

    I stuffed my turkey with oranges, apples, carrots, celery and onion. I also dry rubbed the inside cavity with a mix of thyme, rosemary, lemon pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and rubbed dry sage. I marinated them cooked the turkey in champagne and chicken stock. Do you think that the ingredients I used to stuff the turkey will suffice?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jacqueline, those ingredients cook so long in the turkey, personally I wouldn’t use them again for the soup. That said, if it tastes good, try it!

  • Miriam

    Elise, I love your flexible style with the seasoning. That’s kind of how I did an improv turkey neck soup this week.

  • Deloris Fisher

    This recipe was basically the one I remember from my Grandma. I did it just right, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I used potatoes instead of noodles still turned out very tasty .

  • Dee engblom

    After I boiled and simmered everything and cooled in fridge overnite,,, the strained stock had turned to gelatin! Was it supposed to do That?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes! That’s the true sign of homemade stock. That gelatin? So good for you! And the main reason I make stock from scratch instead of buying the boxes. As soon as you heat up the stock, the gelatin will melt.

  • Lisa Siblik

    If following the soup recipe, how many cups/quarts of stock should be used in the recipe?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lisa, anywhere from 2 to 4 quarts, depending on how much soup you want to make.

  • Suresh

    Thanks very much for the turkey soup recipe .I really enjoyed it.Healthwise it’s superb. …..bye love and kisses . Suresh

  • Dee Robinson

    Will the egg noodles suck up the broth?

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, some. Depends on how many egg noodles you put in.

    • s h

      Yes, but to prevent this you can precook your noodles, works great

  • Keisha

    Hello, how much rice do you add??

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Keisha, depending on how much soup you have, 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of raw rice. Like noodles, rice will absorb a lot of liquid, so you don’t want to put too much in if you still want to have a soupy consistency to your soup.

  • Oscar

    Great stock recipe, I’ve used it twice and it makes for a wonderful soup. I got very little foamy crud that floated to the surface of the stock you mentioned in the article. What causes that foamy crud?

  • Ashley

    Would this work just as good with a whole chicken instead? I recently used the turkey and it was super good. But I have a chicken this time that I am thinking of trying out. Thanks

  • Natacha Soleski

    I accidently cooked at a higher temp and got less broth … can I just add water when cooking the soup part?

  • Jan

    Two great ways to make better stock. Freeze ALL your veggie peelings (except onion root) in a bag. Add to the stock pot and boil. When you are making the soup, add any left over turkey gravy as well for additional flavour.

  • Edith

    This is the best turkey soup I’ve ever made. Just followed the recipe. No need for any changes. I was amazed at how much turkey was left on the carcass.

  • anna

    I go one step further for a deeper flavor. I take all the bones and brown them in the oven first before I start the water boil. Then I do much of the same.

    • Soupboyb

      You’re the second time I’ve heard about roasting bones to bring out flavor. Maybe I have to try it.

      • Maeda K

        Season them and make sure they stay moist in the oven!

  • Jule

    Could you please be a little more specific on the amounts of the seasonings for the soup? I’d like to have some starting measurements & then adjust to our tastes from there. Thank you in advance.

    • Elise Bauer

      Jule, I say a couple of teaspoons of seasoning in the list of ingredients. This can be poultry seasoning, or a combination of ground sage, dried thyme, marjoram (can use oregano too). You really need to do this to taste. Everyone’s herbs are different, depending on how they are and where they were sourced. You may need to use more than that if you have more stock.

  • Karon Skidmore

    I used this recipe to make the stock and then the soup. It was my first time making stock and my first time making turkey soup. It’s wonderful! I’ll be making this every Thanksgiving from now on! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Karon, I’m so glad your first time making stock turned out so well!

  • Kris

    What do you do with the bones and vegetables after simmer?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kris, I put them into a plastic bag, tie the bag up and put it in the trash. By the time you are done making the stock there is no nutritional value left in them.

  • Jo Ann

    OMG! My husband kept saying delicious over and over as he was eating this soup. I served it with crusty bread and butter. I’ll be making it again Thanksgiving (the stock) and next day the soup. This was fabulous and worth the work. Thanks so much!!!!!


    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you and your husband liked it Jo Ann! Love serving it with crusty bread and butter.

    • Chris Christie's Belt

      I bought a Turkey just to make soup with

  • Colleen

    Hi Elise, after Christmas dinner and leftovers no room in fridge for turkey juice can I keep the juice and bones in pot overnight or does it have to be refrigerated.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Colleen, note that what I’m about to tell you is what we often do, and there will be plenty of people who will take issue with it. We get the soup going the night before, let it simmer for a couple of hours. If it gets too late and we’re going to bed, we cover the pot, and turn off the heat on the stove. The next morning we bring the stock to a rolling boil for 10 minutes. Another option which I’ve done is to put the juice and bones into a freezer bag and freeze them until I’m ready to make the stock.

  • Laurel

    I just need to know do you cook noodles of rice first before adding ?
    Thanks so much a wonderful recipe that will become my family tradition also !

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Laurel, no, the noodles or rice cook in the broth.

    • Chris Christie's Belt

      If he have a large batch or are not serving it right away then cook the pasta first and add it when serving, this is how restaurants do it.

  • Ann Kirkegaard Landers

    Elise, So many thanks to you & your mom for this recipe! Turkey Soup with Danish Dumplings is our traditional Christmas Eve meal, made with the leftover carcass from Thanksgiving. After my mom passed away, I’ve been able to find all of her wonderful recipes except for Turkey Soup. This will be the first year my daughters and I will be making it. You have perfectly named this recipe – it looks like it’s exactly the way MY mom made her fabulous soup! Thank you for enabling us to carry on with our tradition!

  • Chris

    Using a pasta colander to strain before making the soup is helpful and adding some of the leftover mashed potatoes and gravy gives it more richness. Cooking egg noodles separately prevents them from getting over cooked, as well. Or, cooking rice, white or brown, in broth and adding as needed is good, too.

  • Laurel

    We made our first turkey this Thanksgiving. And, since we have little oven space, we grilled it on the barbeque (well, my husband did — I sat back and watched in admiration). :) I’ve got the stock on the stove and we’ll be enjoying the last bits of our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow night after the shepherd’s pie this evening. It is incredible how many meals you can make from the turkey!

    • Patricia. Dyson

      Thank you so much .it taste like my Grandmother made when I was it.

  • Kate McDermott-Art of the Pie

    This is just how my grandma taught me how to make it. Some things never change. ;-)

  • Julie

    Just made our annual turkey stock using this recipe. YUM! This is the first time I’ve made the soup with the stock right away. Usually I freeze it to use later. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again! It was delicious!! I must have cooked the stock down (it was simmering for 4 hours) so I had to add some extra water. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow! Thanks for a great recipe :)

  • Mark Lessmess

    To save a big pan clean up, I “stored” all common sense leftovers per your above Turkey soup recipe in same dinner roasting pan. Overnight temp outside here 25-30F this T-Day in upstate NY so good gradual cool off inside deck charcoal cooker (no critters invited); Fridge room a premium on black Friday,
    Sooo just cubed extra turkey, cleaned carcass of extra meat and set aside per above. Everything the same after that… BEST turkey soup ever, !! OH! did use veggie and chicken boxed broth fluids (plus a couple quarts of water), 5 quarts total fluid. Good job straining and 12oz. no-yolk extra broad noodles was a winning touchdown where ever it touched down.. Thank you very much SR!. I’ll be baaack!

  • Robert Merritt

    5 stars
    a quick word of caution to first time soup enthusiasts,,, the broth was so thick that it made me go cross eyed for just under an hour. My wife, bette, had a nice laugh about it all, but unfortunately i dinged up our pacifica when i went out for milk. later that night, i had terrible crusades nightmares. i don’t think the recipe is to blame for the fat content of the broth, i just kept adding more and more things to the mix. this is a great recipe! a new addition to the family!


    • Karen

      If you let the stock get cold in the fridge before making your soup, all the fat will rise to the top and solidify so you can take it off. The stock itself will probably resemble a huge bowl of jelly u til it’s warmed up again.

  • Lynn

    Thanks so much for posting this again. It was a great recipe to take on during a particularly rainy day. Post-thanksgiving this was a clean, yummy and fulfilling dish. Thanks for all the added tips – I ended up adding a jar of chopped tomatoes I canned this summer and a veggie bouillon and it was lovely. Thanks!

  • Ken

    Just exactly how we did it. Tastes great.

  • Jeff

    A crock pot worked great to make the stock in.

  • Larry Chester

    I’ve been learning to be a cook for the past 2 years, but this is the first time that I’ve made stock, though I have helped my ex many times over the years. This year, I disassembled the turkey before I roasted it, so I had the entire backbone of two turkeys and the thighbones and neck uncooked to throw into the stock. The rest of the carcass (already roasted) was added as well. I have put in more veggies to the stock for added richness, including cilantro (rather than parsley), parsnips, leeks and turnips, in addition to what you have in your recipe. After 4 hours, I have from 6 – 8 quarts of stock, and lots of “remains.”

    I plan on taking the meat off of the remaining bones to add to the soup later along with some rice and new veggies, but I’m wondering about all of those cooked veggies that I used to make the stock. They have been cooking in that rich turkey stock for hours, and it would be a shame to just throw them away. Is there some way that I can use them in a meal at a later time? Would they make a thicker stew type soup if blended and then added to several kinds of beans and barley? What do you think?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Larry, congratulations on your first stock! Here’s the thing with the vegetables. They’ve been cooking for so long in the stock pretty much all of the nutritional value has been leached from them into the stock. You might benefit from some of the fiber left in them at this point, but not much else. This is why they are discarded after making the stock.

      • Christina

        Thank you. That was my exact question. Today will be my first attempt at homemade stock

  • Anita

    I just love your recipe, pity I didn’t find it years ago. I have a problem though with one thing…I put everything I had in a crock pot and let it cook just under a simmer for several hours. Almost immediately after I put the egg noodles in they went very soggy and don’t even look like noodles anymore. I am worried that if I had cooked them separately then added them, they still would have turned out soggy when stored in the fridge. What should I do? HELP! I need Turkey Soup 911

    • Elise Bauer

      Egg noodles cook very quickly, so put them at the very end.

  • turkey breast

    One of the best stocks I’ve made. My husband and 6 year-old loves the soup that I prepared for them for lunch. It always warms my heart to hear praises from loved ones for giving them delicious and healthy food. As the saying goes, ‘Health is wealth’, I would always go for organic and antibiotic-free turkey. I know that it’s a bit pricey but prevention is better than cure. :)

  • Jen

    Thank you so much for the recipe! This was my first time making stock & soup from a carcass. I appreciate everyone else’s comments as well.. I followed the recipe, and added some wine, a little stuffing, and a little gravy. I also cooled the stock overnight so it was easier to remove the fat.
    When we made the turkey, we put a “bacon blanket” over the turkey while roasting. It made a VERY flavorful stock.. so pleased none of the turkey went to waste this year!! :)

  • Lisa

    Can you make the stock with the leg and wing bones? The carcass got thrown away. :-(

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, leg and wing bones work fine. Though if that is all you have, you may make less stock.

  • Cheryl R.

    Hi if you use the vinegar to add to the soup, do you used regular or apple cider vinegar? Will it give the soup a vinegar-y taste?

    • Jen

      I saw someone else made a comment about adding vinegar. I would imagine it would cook down the same as wine..? But I’d be curious to hear from an expert as well!

    • Jo

      The vinegar should be added to the bones while making the stock/broth. It helps pull the marrow out and makes it healthier for you. You won’t taste the vinegar or tge marrow at all. Any type of vinegar will work.

  • Kayla

    My first time making stock from scratch. Turned out great! Also made your soup from the stock a few days later, and it was a HUGE hit. And I don’t even like soup! Needless to say, both of these recipes are getting written down and put in the Family Recipe Box. Win!

  • Rosita

    I spent countless hours making this soup and I’m very disappointed with the results. I followed the instructions to the “T”, but found this soup to be rather bland. My husband, who likes virtually everything, only finished it because there was nothing else to eat at home. It’s just not worth all the effort. We could barely taste the turkey. What a collosal waste of time. Sorry to be so negative, but I thought others should know of my experience.

  • Carl

    Excellent recipe!! Made great use of our 21# T-Day carcass. Delicious. Ended up with 4 qts of stock. Two went in to your soup recipe and two are frozen for future use.

    Thanks very much!!

  • Sam

    My turkey stock tastes funky, sorta sour. What did I do incorrectly? The only thing that I can think of is that I boiled the carcass in a slow cooker for 18 hours.

    I didn’t think i could mangle a broth recipe! Help?

    • Elise Bauer

      18 hours? Yikes! I think that’s where your problem lies. Sorry to say but if your turkey stock, or anything for that matter, tastes “funky”, then don’t eat it.

  • Roberta

    Made the stock yesterday and making the soup today. Keeping it gluten free and adding rice. Two questions….would brown rice work and do I cook the rice prior to adding. Thanks….LOVE your site! Have made many of your recipes! Keep ’em coming!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Roberta, brown rice takes 3 times as long to cook as white rice (45 minutes versus 15 minutes), so if using brown rice I recommend putting it in the stock before the vegetables.

  • Tammy Sammarco

    My first try at making soup. Do I read this right? I add the vegetables twice?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tammy, yes you read this correctly. The first vegetables get simmered with the bones. All of their goodness goes into the stock. By the time the stock is ready, you don’t want to eat those vegetables, so they get strained out with the bones. When it comes time to make the soup with the stock, you add vegetables that you will be eating in the soup.

  • Sandi

    I found years ago that if I let the bones hard boil or simmer for too long, I got an almost orangish, oily residue (not the same as the yellow white fat), that really spoiled the taste of the broth and couldn’t be skimmed off. Did I just get a couple weird turkeys or has anyone else experienced that? I just make sure not to let them more than simmer now and remove them as soon as the meat pulls easily off the carcass and haven’t had the problem since.

    • Elise Bauer

      Many many years ago a doctor told me I should make soup from bones to help me with anemia. This was before the Internet and I had no idea what I was doing, so I got a bunch of beef bones from the butcher and I boiled them at a hard boil until the bones themselves were disintegrating into the stock, 6 hours maybe? Really didn’t taste good. But I’m sure the calcium was great!

      • Sandi

        Lol, I’ll stick to taking calcium as a pill or in my cheese and milk. Never made anything from beef bones, I just use boneless beef and store bought stock or broth for stew or beef mushroom and barley soup, so thanks for the tip as I have been branching out and want to try making beef stock. If I spend hours making it, I want it to taste good! Years, as in 40+ ago, my aunt’s Dr Rx’d a 4 oz glass of red wine with lunch and dinner to help her body make use of the iron in all the red meat, liver and greens he had her eating for pregnancy related anemia. He had to write it out because my uncle came unglued. But it worked and sounds like a much tastier solution than soup du ossements.

  • Rachel

    Hi – thank you so much for all your info! One question – can I mix turkey and chicken bones for a stock/broth? Would it taste okay?

    Yes, it would taste fine. ~Elise

  • Michael

    Hi I would like to know why is it important to begin with cold water when making a stock. And what makes a stock cloudy?

    Starting with cold water allows more collagen to seep from the bones and cartilage of the turkey into the stock. If you plunge the carcass into hot water, you will not get this, and your stock will be thin. There are lots of reasons a stock can go cloudy, but the most common is boiling. A boiled stock will often still taste fine, but you lose that clarity. ~Elise

  • Steve-Anna Stephens

    Usually, when I roast a turkey there is not enough left over to make soup. This year, however, I made a 16 lb. turkey – for four! So, there was plenty leftover for soup.

    I made this yesterday, and it is soul warming – perfect for a rainy snowy winter day, which we are now having in Tucson. I added a little cayenne for some heat, and chopped up some fresh cherry tomatoes and stirred them in at the last minute to brighten the flavor.

    This one’s a keeper~!

  • Patricia Melsted Chabot

    The best turkey or chicken soup needs just one more simple step.
    Roast the bones in the oven for a couple of hours, or more.
    Brown the bones real good.
    That’s where the flavor is.
    Then boil. So delicious!

  • Cindy

    Thanks, great simple recipe

  • Tracey N

    I have a question for all the you stock experts. This year I just dropped the whole carcass (unstuffed but full of herbs/veges) into the pot of water and left it to simmer and forgot about it. It did boil and half the liquid evaporated. The stock was yellow — this has never happend before, and cooled down it’s the consistency of thick jello. What happened? To fix, I plan to strain with cheese cloth (after reheating) and clarify with eggwhites. Joy of Cooking says to include the crushed shell and implied that cooking stock in aluminum was a bad idea. Any other suggestions?

    You just have made highly concentrated stock. That’s what ours looks like when we reduce the heck out of it. At that concentration it should jell up like jello. Personally I wouldn’t bother with the egg whites or shells, because it should taste fine as it is. Just when you go to use it, you’re going to need to add a lot of water. For example, if you need a cup of stock for a recipe, use 1/3 a cup of your concentrated stock, add 2/3 a cup of water. Or whatever proportion works best for you. If the stock doesn’t taste good (which can happen if you use an aluminum pot), no amount of egg whites is going to help. ~Elise

    • Doreen

      Also, one other thing I thought I’d mention. If whatever you are using it for already contains a lot of liquid with very little flavor, you might want to try adding the stock first, taste, then add additional water if necessary.

  • Susan T

    I just made my turkey soup yesterday. The only thing I do that’s different is that I tie up the carcass and bones in some cheesecloth. Makes it easy to fish out of the pot later.

  • C

    Hi & thankyou 4 the recipie. I am wondering how long one has to make the stock? The bones have been in the fridge from Thanksgiving I didn’t read up on the soup right away. So the carcus is about 3days in the frideg now Is it to late ? Also haven’t cooked the neck&gibblets yet is it ok to or should I throw them out? Thanks

    Hi C, you’re still good on the carcass. I would say 5 days on the carcass in the fridge. You can always put them in the freezer where they’ll be good for months. The neck and giblets are still raw? Then throw them out. They’ve likely been sitting around too long in the fridge. ~Elise

  • Patrick

    I have made turkey soup for only the last couple of years, but this is the first time that I have taken the time to find out how to do it correctly. In the past, I have just boiled the bones for a few hours then I removed the bones and added turkey, veggies and seasoning. Then I cooked it down until the veggies were tender. I know my soup will turn out so much better this year. But, I have a question. Is there a reason for disgarding the veggies that were used to make the broth? Thanks, this site is great.

    By the time the cooking is done, the nutritional value of the vegetables has been cooked out and is now in the stock. ~Elise

  • Kate @ the wooden spoon

    Thanks for posting this! Using your method, I made turkey stock to save for later soups. I love that I just created a DELICIOUS food out of something that was destined for the garbage, had I not intervened.

  • Frances McKay

    I have made turkey soup essentially as you described for years except that I put the carcass in the crock pot to simmer as I am cleaning up after dinner. That way it is cooking without having to be watched and I never have to find room in the fridge for it.

  • mantha

    Jeanne’s idea of acidifying the cooking water or stock a little to leach out the good calcium from the bones is very sound. I’ve used juice of a large whole fresh lemon, which also adds a bright taste and makes less salt seem necessary, but vinegar is perfectly good too. And her idea of putting in a bit of fresh ginger is wonderful for a hearty winter soup of chicken or turkey. Just the thing to come in out of the cold and eat.

  • Elizabeth

    I made a turkey for New Year’s Day and made turkey soup from the carcass following the directions here. It was the best turkey soup I’ve ever had. I did not put the skin in so I didn’t have much fat to skim off. I had brined the turkey and used an herb paste (Cook’s Illustrated Herb Roasted Turkey). The broth was incredibly flavorful. I didn’t need to add any salt or other seasonings to the finished product. I may have to make more turkeys than usual this year just to make more soup.

  • jeannettedixon

    Hi I have just made your turkey soup for the first time and it tastes very strong. Is there anyway of making it more bland please? thanks jeannette

    Yes, you can add water to it to dilute it. ~Elise

  • Linda In Washington State

    I have never made roasted turkey stock but I make chicken stock. One of the dishes my husband will cooked is roasted chicken in pieces.
    I have to prepare the 2 free range chickens for him. I save the wing tips, the neck, the and the back. Lately, I have been removing the skin before freezing the parts. About 3 bags of chicken parts of 2 chickens each I put in my stock pot and boil till the scrum rising then I skim this off. Then I add, chopped onion, celery, whole baby carrots, salt, pepper, juice of and half of a squeezed lemon and half of a red bell pepper and let it simmer for at least 2 hours. Adding the 3rd vegetable of the trinity really perked up my broth/stock.
    My stock has a kit of gelatin so it is firm like Jell-O
    I refrigerated my stock then remove the fat and freeze my stock in snack size baggies/ about a cup of stock.
    Fill baggie gently pressing out as much air as then seal. then stack the baggies in a gallon
    size Ziploc and seal then put in the freezer. Primarily I use my stock to make gravy for roasted chicken night.

  • Roxanne

    The difference between stock and broth is the use of mostly all bones in stock and mostly all meat in broth. Traditional broth doesn’t use bones, or very little. The resulting liquid from simmering a leftover turkey carcass is technically a stock, a very rich one since there is still, typically, meat on the bones. It doesn’t have anything to do with the liquid being seasoned or not. A properly made stock jells under cold temperatures. This is the result of gelatin being pulled from the bones after very long simmering (at least 6-8 hours). A broth, being made mostly from meat, will not jell. The high amounts of gelatin in stock is what gives it its body and luscious mouth feel.

    When you reduce stock down to a quarter of its original amount (i.e. 4 cups of stock down to 1 cup of stock), you have demi-glace. One of the most beautiful and delightful substances on earth, and one of the great French mother sauces.

  • Mary Beth

    Cris – thank you so much for passing on the tip from Jacques Pepin, to bake the turkey skin to make a sort of turkey bacon! Just tried it in a 350 degree oven, after salting & peppering; baked it until it looked like crispy bacon. And it is DELICIOUS! The only thing I’ll do differently next time is use a baking sheet with higher sides, as there was more grease run-off than I anticipated.

    Elise – thank you for this site! It is the first place I turn to for ideas and recipes. Making the turkey stock now. And I’m going to cook another turkey tomorrow (not enough leftovers!) and will try your mom’s way.

  • Jane

    Stayed home sick from work today, and what better opportunity than to use the turkey bones from Sunday’s half-turkey and make some stock? Just the smell has made me feel better! Thank you, Elise, for the simple and yummy recipe.

    My question is this: What is it that makes a stock clear or cloudy? Is it particles of meat, veg, etc that are agitated by boiling? I tried my hardest to keep it at barely a simmer, most of the time below a simmer, and yet it’s cloudy. It doesn’t really matter; I’m not going to chuck it out or anything! Just curious. I will cool it and freeze for a later use. Thanks!

    Great question. According to Harold McGee one reason is that some of the proteins break down and get suspended in the stock. Another is that boiling causes the fat to emulsify in the stock. If you really want clear stock, make sure you are starting with cold water and you never let the stock even simmer. You can do this by putting the pot in a 180°F oven for several hours. Personally I’ve made stock both ways and I prefer the cloudy stock. It has a fuller flavor. It sort of depends on what you are reaching for in terms of flavor and aesthetics. ~Elise

  • Suzanne Espenlaub

    After I refrigerate them tonight and then add noodles etc tomorrow, how long is it O-kay in the fridge? And can I freeze individual ones again for later days?

    If you are going to freeze, I would freeze the stock separately from the turkey. I would add fresh vegetables and noodles to frozen stock and turkey when wanting to make soup again. After you make the soup, it lasts a few days in the fridge. The stock can last for a couple weeks in the fridge as long as you reboil it for 10 minutes every few days. ~Elise

  • Suzanne Espenlaub

    This is only my second batch of turkey broth, and unfortunately I did not read your instructions before I boiled the carcass. I boiled for about an hour, I cooked my veggies in a separate pot (same veggies as yours). Is it okay to now put it all in the fridge and then marry them together tomorrow, or should I just do it now and let them cool off together on the stove over night?

    At this point I would keep them separately or together in the fridge, bring them all to a simmer for at least 10 minutes tomorrow. ~Elise

  • steve8714

    Mine tastes flat, any ideas on a fix?

    Salt. And a dash of Tabasco. ~Elise

  • Catwuvr

    Many years ago I found a recipe for leftover chicken, or turkey, soup that calls for adding a couple tablespoons of vinegar when making your stock. They explained that the stock is much healthier because the vinegar leaches the calcium out of the bones and disperses it into the broth, making it very calcium rich. The flavor of your soup is also much richer when made with the seasoned stock, and yet, no one will know that it’s there, if you don’t tell them.

    Another addition that isn’t your usual ingredient, but adds a subtle yet marvelous flavor, is a good sized chunk of fresh ginger root, unpeeled. Just add it with the vinegar, bones and veges when making stock.

    I never leave out these two secret ingredients when making my very delicious soups!

  • Jeanne Riecke

    My Mom made her own noodles, which of course made turkey soup after Thanksgiving even more special. It is easy.

    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp of salt
    Flour-as much flour as needed

    Mix all these ingredients together until it becomes very elastic. Roll out on floured surface. Make into long roll and slice in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slice rolls. Separate egg noodle slices before tossing them into the Turkey soup. Multiply for larger recipes.

  • Viki

    Hey, Jan, you might want to try a few drops of the wine in your soup; my parents used to do that. They were from the old country, and it is really good.

  • Noel

    I always see people say that they refrigerate their turkey stock before making the soup – is this necessary, or can I go straight from stock to soup without having to cool it in the middle?

    The main reason you refrigerate the stock first is so that the fat rises to the top and solidifies and you can easily remove what you don’t want in your soup. You could also use a fat separator or just use a large metal spoon to spoon off the excess fat from the top of the stock, if you wanted to go straight to soup making. ~Elise

  • Nancy

    First and foremost – thanks for this great website!

    Yummy – This is an excellent recipe for leftovers. I didn’t really feel like cooking much more after Thanksgiving – so this is perfect. It was cold and rainy and all weekend there was a hot pot of soup on the stove. Mmmm. Basic, warm and a definite keeper! THANKS

  • John Kennedy-Farrell

    Hey Elise,

    Thanks for your great tips! My wife and I just finished roasting our first turkey for Thanksgiving. We had her family over, and it went well. I’m making broth now following your instructions, and I see that you write that it can be refrigerated with the fat layer on top to protect it, but what about freezing it? I’d like to store some of the broth for soups throughout the winter….does that work? –John

    We don’t freeze our stocks, though I’ve noticed that people who do take the layer of fat off before freezing. ~Elise

  • Jack

    I’m posting a comment here bout Mom’s Roasted Turkey. This is the first time Misti and I have ever cooked a turkey and I found this recipe here on Simpley Recipes. We have never heard of cooking a turkey breast down and the ingredients sounded really good. We must say that this is the best tasting turkey we have ever made, beings it is the first. Thank You for making this Roast Turkey recipe available for us to find. It was awesome.. Now, we gonna use the left overs for the turkey soup where we also will follow your recipe! If the roasted turkey ended up this good, imagine what the soup will taste like. Once again thank you for a great recipe, it made our first time cooking a turkey the best first turkey it ever could of been.. Thank you… Misti and Jack

  • patricia saunders

    I’m making turkey soup tonite, and I at 77 years old don’t know and can’t find out the difference between broth and stock. What’s the difference?
    Also, I have 1/2 cup of turkey fat. Do I add it to the soup or throw it out? I already have celery, onions, carrots in there, and lots of turkey meat to add later. My grandsons really love the soup, in past years with the dumplings I add to the soup. Flour, egg, and seasoning, and milk. Drop into liquid soup and they rise as they cook. Deelishus.

    Hi Patricia, broth is seasoned, you can even eat it straight. Stock is what you make when you simmer bones, but before adding seasoning. Regarding the turkey fat. Do not add it to the soup. Or at least not that much to it. If you want keep it in a jar in the fridge and use it for cooking like you would chicken fat or bacon fat. Otherwise, throw it out. That said, if you are making stock, it helps to store the stock with a layer of fat on it if you are storing it in the refrigerator (not if you are freezing it). The layer of fat will help protect the stock from bacteria and help it keep longer in the fridge. ~Elise

  • Bruce

    I tried this recipe in January and we loved it. It was so good my family requested it again so we’re having it for dinner tonight. Thanks, I am a soup lover and this recipe is one that has won over my wife who genrally isn’t big on soups. Give your mom a hug for me.

  • Sulli DeStefano

    I just love the site and the recipes bring me back to my mothers home made cooking..where everything was done from scratch. When she would make her soups, no matter what type of soup it was..chicken noodle…turkey…italian wedding..she would always add her secret ingredient…one I continue to use to this day in my soups…some fresh grated Locateli or Pecorino Romano cheese. It brings the soup to another level and adds a subtle flavor hint that leaves people wondering what is giving the soup this marvelous undertaste.

  • Paul

    I’ve picked the bird clean over the past week. The concern I had was with its age– I wasn’t sure if that was going to affect the quality of the broth. From what I can tell by the delicious aroma filling the house, it’s not going to be a problem. I threw all of it in a big pot with plenty of water, a whole onion, a large carrot, and some celery stalks. Brought to a boil and then set on LOW to simmer for several hours. Will strain out all and discard/compost. I will then skim the fat off when it rises and hardens. From the remaining broth I will be able to make anything I want.

    Apparently you can make a lot of broth from a 12-pound bird. Right now I’m experimenting with 5 gallons. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be weak.


  • Paul

    Alicia, there’s probably no harm in boiling the carcass over and over, they do this with items like fish heads and to make head cheese out of mammalian heads like cow, pig etc. The bones will eventually melt into the liquid and you will reap the benefits of eating the gelatin which is important for building your tendons and bones etc. but in terms of flavor I wouldn’t think you’d get much out of it after the first or second boiling.


  • Vancouver, BC girl (Canada)

    I have been a vegetarian for almost 20 years and only recently started to incorporate a bit of poultry into my diet. Needless to say, the thought of cooking my first Christmas turkey was a bit daunting – some of it was psychological, and part of it was worry that my Christmas dinner guests would be disappointed by my lack of turkey cooking prowess. Thankfully, I found your roast turkey recipe! It was fantastic and highly complimented. I did flip it to brown the breast for the last 25 minutes and it didn’t lose too much moisture. Now, I am making soup stock from your recipe. Thanks for a simple, delicious meal!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Carol – That’s perfect! Just what you want. Just heat the jelled broth, taste it, and add a little water to it if you think it’s too strong.

  • Carol Woods

    Hi, I have a question about the broth from cooking the carcass. I would like to make soup but the broth has turned like jelly. I removed the fat from the top and just have a jelled broth, is that Okay ?
    I would appreciate your help.

  • Doug

    Excellent recipe, thank you!

  • Joyce

    Just want to comment on the turkey soup.I have not tried roasting the bones before making soup, but will try it on boxing day.
    I always have a huge amount of gravy left over, so I add that to the soup. It thickens it as well as adds so much flavor.

  • Raquel

    Amazing labor of love this site must be; I cooked my first turkey for my in-laws and followed elise’s instructions and, along with those onion potatoes and sweet glazed carrots, found myself in the middle of the most oohs and ahs I’ve ever heard! My in laws now adore me (they equate food with love) and the turkey soup is going to MY grandma tonight. She’s been ill and my grandpa is bitter that he never gets a cooked meal. :) The love will keep coming! Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, Elise, for your wonderful effort. You enrich my life.

  • Sweeti

    I make Turkey soup with homemade noodles from mine also but I jar mine when done and pressure can it. We save it for days when someone is under the weather or to bring to a sick friend. It makes you feel better always.

  • CE

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am newly married and just moved to Germany from Alaska to be with my husband, who is German and had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. I made your roasted turkey recipe, your stuffing recipe and this turkey soup the next day. Unfortunatly, it was impossible to find cranberries in rural Germany, otherwise I would have loved to try the cranberry relish also. Everything turned out wonderful! And my husband loved everything! He raved and raved about the turkey and this soup. I could not have done it without your website. Happy Holidays!

  • Lori

    Thank you for this soup recipe. I have made turkey soup before, but most of the recipes I used called for canned tomatoes and/or broccoli. I prefer yours. This was yummy.

    Also, you’ve closed down comments on your mom’s turkey recipe, but I want to THANK YOU – and YOUR MOM – for persuading me to try the upside-down turkey roasting method! Out of the oven, flipped, and ready to be carved, the bird looked a bit… well… anemic. The ten guests looked at it with a “what the heck?” expression. I was momentarily worried, but I trusted you and thought: “who cares what it looks like – all that matters is how it tastes.” It was the best tasting – and moistest – turkey our family has ever eaten. Your mom’s recipe will now be a tradition in my home (20 miles south of Boston) thanks to you, your mom, and the internet. Thanks again. – Lori

  • Elaine

    I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now and love it. My spouse knows of whom I am speaking (re; food blogs) by their first names now!

    In any case, I read this while I was making stock and loved the idea of cooking it down, making it more concentrated and easier to store. We purchased a chest freezer last January and I thought it would never get full. How naive I was; it has been full since we started getting CSA boxes over the summer and I am constantly trying to juggle food around so I can store more. Your idea of cooking the stock to concentrate was sorely needed.

    Thanks much for all of the great recipes and insights you post. My day would not be complete without reading your post!

  • Ashley

    Hi Elise,
    I want to thank you so much for your recipes. I made the pumpkin bread and now I am making the Turkey Soup. My brother, who is deceased now, was a chef and he used to help me make turkey soup from the carcass. He used to put the spices in a teet and hang it in the pot. I haven’t made soup since because I didn’t know what spices to put in. Thank you for bringing back the memories and for the information I need to carry on the soup making tradition:)

  • Mark

    We make soup stock often. One thing that really helps is to roast the bones in the oven for an hour or so before putting them in the stock pot. This browns the bones and adds a whole new dimention to your stock.

    Note from Elise: Hmm, never thought to do that as the bones have already roasted with the turkey for hours.

  • cris

    Years ago I saw Jacques Pepin make a peasant turkey soup on television. It was the perfect solution for post turkey remains :-) Yours is very similar -except the skin.

    He did one thing which was a keeper. He took the skin and placed it fat side down on a baking sheet and sprinkled it with salt and baked it. It was like bacon, which he crumbled on the soup! I do this now -even with chicken. My husband likes these crumbles in his turkey/chicken sandwiches.

    Note from Elise: Crispy, crumbled roasted turkey skin? That sounds delicious!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Alicia – I don’t know about boiling the bones over and over again. Once you make the stock you can cool it in the refrigerator and let the fat rise to the top to form a protective layer (protects against bacteria). You can reheat it to a boiling/simmer every few days to extend the life of the soup. But boiling the carcass over and over again? Somehow it just doesn’t sound like a good idea.

  • Alicia

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you all for your turkey soup tips. I’m making for the first time, turkey soup from the carcass. (and only the 2nd time ever had I made turkey!) Your tips are great. I had an idea of what I wanted in the soup, but wasn’t sure what spices, etc. I like the noodles idea, too. So, I’ll be putting in a bunch of veggies and add some pasta, too. I’ve been cooking the carcass off & on for the last 2 weeks, bringing it to a boil, then simmering for a few hours. It has been slow since I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to finish it. My friend, an expert at making turkey soup said that you could do this forever practically (boiling it, simmer); interesting since I had no idea in the beginning. So, tonight, I’ll finally finish it!

  • Barbara

    Just another suggestion: I refrigerate the broth before adding the veg., to bring the fat to the top and then defat it before adding the the veg.

    • michael

      Good call on chilling the broth…I did that last nite and currently skimming that as we speak….Turkey soup and a day of football…..What?…..priceless

  • Andrea

    I want to echo the sentiments of Jan’s comment: I am very thankful for all the creativity and love you put into this site, Elise! The family recipes make it truly personal.

    Your turkey soup recipe is pretty much identical to mine, so I know it’s good. I usualy throw a bay leaf into the stock pot too.

    One comment: I have been taught not to boil the stock, as it causes proteins and fat to release which can cloud the stock. Perhaps bringing it to a boil but quickly down to simmer, as your recipe suggests, is sufficient to avoid that problem. (Maybe I worry too much about that, in other words). Also, is it really good to have skin in the stock? Once I wound up with a very greasy stock that was inedible, but my best stocks created a kind of gel when cold (the proteins from the bones, I think) that added lots of good flavor to the stock. Is there an optimal amount of skin?

    Note from Elise: Hi Andrea, you’re right, boiling the stock makes the stock cloudy. Though bringing it a boil for a brief moment initially will bring up the impurities that you want to skim off. That said, it really depends on what you are after. If you want a clear, fresh tasting stock, then you don’t want it to simmer. If you want a hearty stock, into which you are going to put a lot of different things (even mashed potatoes, as some do), then simmer away if you want. The taste of cloudy stock is fine, it’s just not consommé. Regarding the skin, most of the fat is rendered out when you cook the turkey, and there is a lot of flavor in the skin. We keep it in, but you could leave it out if you wanted.

  • Steve

    Definitely add any stuffing left in the cavity. You’ll need to strain the stock, but the flavor is worth it. Remove what you can (bones, veggies, etc.) with a slotted spoon, let it settle, then pour the warm stock into a bowl or another stock pot, leaving the fine solids behind. Let the new pot settle, then pour it SLOWLY back into the first pot (which you rinsed or washed). Again, leave behind the stuff that settled. Mmmmmm

  • Jan

    Thanksgiving is over, and it was a big success. I just put on my pot of Turkey Soup and I am going to sit down with a nice glass of wine. But first I have to give Thanks, I have learned a lot from your blog during the past year that I have been reading. Your recipes have been the first I turn to when I need some inspiration. This year for the first time I cooked my Turkey upside down, only for the first 1/2, my husband and I flipped it for the second 1/2. (I am a sucker for that golden brown skin.) It was the best turkey ever.
    I always make your green beans with walnuts, they were a huge hit today too. So today I take a moment to say thank you. Thank you, Elise. Your website has made me a better cook, my family thanks you too.


  • Heidi

    When making turkey soup, I pretty much put many parts of the leftovers in – roasted potatoes, mashed squash, some of the gravy, even some stuffing. I then add sautéed mushrooms, and all of the other ingredients Elise mentioned. A little white wine never hurts. This makes a thicker soup than the clear broth one.