Throwing away the turkey carcass means throwing away great flavor. Creating a great tasting turkey soup begins with a rich stock made from the leftover carcass. Turkey stock can be used immediately for homemade soup or frozen for future soups. Keep it traditional and add your favorite poultry seasoning and hearty root vegetables. Alternatively, turn up the heat and create an Asian or Mexican inspired soup.
Things You'll Need
Place the turkey carcass in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Break the carcass into pieces, if necessary, so that it fits in your pot. Add any stuffing pieces to the pot. Chop a carrot, celery, onion and garlic cloves roughly or leave them whole and add to the pot, and add any other vegetables that you like.
Season the stock with spices such as poultry seasoning, fresh or dried sage and thyme. Add a spicy element, if desired, such as red pepper flakes. Add enough fresh water to cover the carcass. Cover the pot and slowly bring the stock to a simmer on medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low and allow the stock to slowly simmer for three more hours. Skim off any scum with a spoon. Scum is the layer of foamy impurities that rise to the top and form a surface over the liquid. Remove the stock from heat, and remove the carcass from the pot and place it on a large plate.
Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large pot to remove any bones, skin and vegetables. Discard the vegetables. Pick turkey meat away from the bones and add it back to the strained stock.
Add salt and pepper to taste, or seasoning preferred. Peel and mince onions, carrots and celery stocks and add them to the stock; approximately two parts of each for four quarts of soup. Add rice, egg noodles or potatoes, whichever you prefer.
Cover the soup, turn the heat on high and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and add 1 cup of peas per 4 quarts of soup, if desired. Allow the soup to simmer until the rice or noodles are tender. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
References and ResourcesEpicurious: Turkey Soup
United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service: Kitchen Companion: Your Safe Food Handbook