Waiting all year for turkey soup!

We had bad luck with our turkey this year. For some reason an entire half refused to cook. I wound up carving half, which was more than ample to serve the five of us, and I threw the rest of the turkey—undercooked half, carcass and all— into the freezer. This morning I took it all out and turned it into a heavenly pot of soup. With a rich, smokey flavor, this is absolutely my favorite soup. The main ingredient is a turkey carcass, and you can usually find someone who is happy to part with theirs after the holiday. On more than one occasion I’ve left a Thanksgiving dinner with the carcass in a bag—the best possible party favor.

Turkey Soup

To make the stock:

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • extra gravy (optional)
  • 2 onions, halved
  • the leafy tops of a bunch of celery
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 2 Tbs. salt

To finish the soup:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 cups of greens, chopped: bok choy, kale or swiss chard
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • egg noodles or matzo balls

In your largest pot, cover the turkey carcass half-way with water, add the other stock ingredients and bring to a boil. As the carcass cooks you’ll be able to break it apart and push it down so that the entire thing is covered with water. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain out the broth into another large pot or into a very large bowl. Set the strained boney parts aside to cool. While that is cooling, add the rest of the soup ingredients to the stock, bring back to a boil, and let simmer. When the sweet potatoes are soft, mash some of them against the side of the pot, and then stir them back into the stock to thicken and sweeten the broth. When the bones are cool enough to handle, pick through them and remove all usable meat, then chop and add the meat to the soup. While the soup is heating, cook your noodles. To serve put a spoonful of noodles in the bottom of each bowl and then ladle over the soup.

Throw the carcass in your largest pot, along with the onions, parsley and celery tops. Cover half-way with water.

Strain the stock into another large pot or bowl.

2 thoughts on “Waiting all year for turkey soup!

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