Don’t Toss That Turkey Carcass! Repurpose It into a Delicious Soup

So, you’ve enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast, and now you’re left with a turkey carcass. Don’t throw it away! This seemingly humble leftover can be transformed into a hearty and flavorful soup, minimizing waste and maximizing flavor.

Unlocking the Flavor Potential of Your Turkey Carcass

The key to a rich and satisfying turkey carcass soup lies in extracting the maximum flavor from the bones Here’s how:

  1. Gather Your Ingredients:

    • Turkey carcass, picked clean of any remaining meat
    • 1 large onion, quartered
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped (including the leafy tops for extra flavor)
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 5-6 peppercorns
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
    • Water to cover the ingredients
  2. Simmer to Perfection:

    • Place the turkey carcass and vegetables in a large stockpot.
    • Add the seasonings and enough water to cover everything.
    • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours.
    • During this time, the turkey bones will release their delicious flavors, creating a rich and flavorful broth.
  3. Strain and Save:

    • Once the simmering is complete, carefully remove the carcass and set it aside.
    • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any bone fragments or vegetables.
    • This golden broth is the foundation of your delicious soup.

Transforming the Broth into a Hearty Soup

With your flavorful broth ready, you can now create a satisfying soup. Here are two options:

Option 1: Classic Turkey Carcass Soup

  1. Enhance the Broth:

    • In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter.
    • Add 1 cup of diced onion and sauté until softened.
    • Add 4-5 diced carrots and 3-4 diced celery stalks, and sauté for another 4-5 minutes.
    • Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Combine and Simmer:

    • Add the turkey broth, 2 cups of diced turkey meat, and 8-10 cups of cooked wild rice.
    • Bring to a simmer and cook until the rice is tender and the vegetables are soft.
  3. Season and Serve:

    • Adjust the seasonings to your taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.
    • Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or chopped chives.

Option 2: Turkey Noodle Soup

  1. Skip the Rice:

    • Follow steps 1 and 2 from the Classic Turkey Carcass Soup recipe.
    • Instead of adding rice, add pre-cooked egg noodles once the vegetables are done cooking.
  2. Simmer and Serve:

    • Simmer the soup until the noodles are tender.
    • Season to taste and serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Turkey Carcass Soup

  • Remove the Fat: Before simmering the carcass, remove any excess skin and fat for a lighter broth.
  • Maximize Flavor: Use the leafy tops of the celery stalks for an extra flavor boost.
  • Adjust the Broth: If you desire a stronger broth, reduce it by boiling it in a separate pot after straining.
  • Store for Later: Freeze leftover broth in containers or ice cube trays for future use.
  • Get Creative: Experiment with different vegetables, herbs, and spices to personalize your soup.

Don’t underestimate the power of a humble turkey carcass. By following these simple steps, you can transform it into a delicious and satisfying soup, minimizing waste and maximizing flavor. So, next time you have a turkey carcass leftover, don’t throw it away! Embrace the opportunity to create a culinary masterpiece that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds.

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup


Should I keep turkey carcass?

Don’t throw away the turkey bones after you’ve demolished your bird! Save them to make a fantastic turkey stock, which you can then use to flavor all sorts of soups and gravies. After you strain the stock you can freeze it in small Tupperware tubs, or even in ice cube trays, very handy to have in the kitchen!”

How long can you keep turkey carcass before making soup?

How Long Can I Keep a Turkey Carcass for Making Soup? A refrigerated turkey carcass will keep up to 5 to 7 days. If you’re planning on cooking turkey soup, be sure to make it within this time frame. A frozen turkey carcass will stay good for up to 6 months.

How do you store leftover turkey carcass?

It’s generally safe to keep a cooked turkey carcass in the fridge for 3-4 days before making stock. After that, it’s advisable to freeze it for longer storage if you don’t plan to use it immediately. If the carcass was quickly chilled, and kept well below 40F (4C) it should last about 5 days.

Are turkey carcasses compostable?

Conclusion. Composting has been shown to be a safe, effective, and non-time consuming method of dead bird disposal. Any poultry producer can use the process. And in addition, composting is inexpensive.

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