Making Homemade Turkey Soup after your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is super easy and a delicious way to use all the leftovers. This is the basic, easy homemade turkey soup recipe you remember your mom making. It's delicious! Paleo + Whole30 compliant.
Guess what …. it's Throw Back Thursday time again! ♡♡♡ #tbt
This time we're going back to a recipe that I've made a million times, or once a year since I was probably 19 so not atually anywhere near a million. Sidebar → I think I may have been the only 19 year old on the planet geeky enough to make homemade turkey soup after her Thanksgiving dinner.
This post dates back to 2011 and the original recipe was nearly impossible to read. It also used the “c” word more than once. You know the word I'm talking about, right? The thing that turkey bones are actually called but it sounds go gross I don't even want to write it out. Here, I'll say it just once. Carcass. Ewww!
Can we agree to never use that word again?
The original pictures were almost as bad as the recipe was written. These might be my favorite bad, old pictures. In the first one it looks like the turkey soup photobombed the picture by jumping into the bottom righhand corner. And there's some random plant in the background cause that makes so much sense. What was I thinking?
I hid the pictures just below the recipe. Promise me you'll scroll down to have a laugh?!
Enough about poorly written recipes and funny pictures, let's talk about this soup. This soup is 90% about the delicious homemade turkey stock. You could drink the stock on its own it's so good.
It's also ridiculously easy to make. All you're going to do is remove as much of the meat as you can, break the bones into a few pieces so that they fit in your largest pot or crock pot, then fill with water. You'll super slow simmer the stock overnight and wake up to the most amazing smelling home and a pot of tasty turkey broth.
You'll notice that I don't add anything other that the turkey bones to the pot. I've made it plenty of times by adding different herbs, peppercorns, onions, carrots, etc. but I don't notice a major difference in flavor at the end so I've stopped doing that. The roasted turkey is all the flavor you need.
You can either make the soup right away from the turkey stock, or you can refridgerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze it for at least 3 months.
Butter up some bread and dig in!
Original post: November 21st, 2011
Do you ever look at the turkey as you're putting it into the roasting pan, long before all your friends and family show up, and think, “I'm going to be eating turkey sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the next week”?
I think this every year, but thankfully my friends are not light eaters. I had 15 people over for dinner this year and roasted a 17-pound bird, all but a few scraps are gone. We ate over a pound of meat plus all (and there were a lot) of fixings and dessert. That's not a small feat.
I'm happy to not eat turkey sandwiches all week long. I was able to make one sandwich, plus prepare a whole pot of homemade turkey soup.
Homemade turkey soup, is my third favorite thing about turkey dinners, after the dinner itself taking first place and sandwiches second. While coming in third place out of only three possible spots isn't exactly winning any prizes, do know that I really do like turkey soup. There's a sense of warmth and comfort about sitting down to a bowl of hot soup on a cool autumn day that is trumped only by knowing you made it from scratch.
And here's the other great thing about it: it's super easy to make! And after all the work that goes into preparing a turkey dinner, easy is what I'm looking for.
The recipe goes something like this: grab your biggest pot, throw in the turkey bones and fill the pot with water. Simmer. Keep simmering. Strain. Sauté some onions, carrots, and celery, add the turkey broth you just made and some leftover turkey meat. Serve, preferably with a crusty piece of well buttered bread.
The recipe below is how I typically make turkey soup. I didn't have any carrots on hand this year and I didn't feel like going out to get some,
so I left them out. (I remembered them this time around. Yay me!) If you choose to add egg noodles, cook them separately and add them to each bowl of soup to prevent them from getting over-cooked and mushy.
If you make this Homemade Turkey Soup make sure you snap a pic and tag #theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!
- Bones from your roast turkey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 6 cups turkey stock
- Reserved turkey meat
- Sea salt, to taste
- Optional: cooked egg noodles (omit for paleo + Whole30)
- Parsley, to serve
- Remove all of the meat from the turkey and reserve 3 cups for the soup. If you've cooked your stuffing in the turkey, make sure to remove it all.
- Break the roast turkey into 3 or 4 pieces small enough that they will fit in your largest pot. Fill the pot with cold water so that the water comes 2 inches above the bones. Bring the pot almost to a boil then reduce the heat so that it is barely simmering. You want the water to moving around, but not bubbling. Cook for 8-10 hours, leaving the lid off. (See notes if you'd like to use your crock pot instead.)
- Strain the turkey stock through a colander into a large bowl and discard the solids. Strain once more through a fine mesh sieve. You can either use the turkey stock immediately or let it cool and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until it begins to brown in a few places, about 5 minutes.
- Add the celery, turkey stock, and reserved turkey meat to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are soft. Season to taste generously with sea salt.
- If you're using the egg noodles, add them cooked to your soup bowl, ladle in the soup, and garnish with a little sprinkle of parsley.
*I've placed this recipe in both the paleo and gluten-free categories, even though egg noodles are neither. If you follow either of these diets, make sure to not add the optional egg noodles. The soup is delicious without them, too.
*If you don't have a lot of turkey meat left, you can substitute chicken. Simmer 2 chicken breasts in 1 cup of turkey stock for 30 minutes then shred them with 2 forks.
*Please don't recreate this recipe using store-bought stock, the flavor in this recipe is all about the delicious homemade stock.
The original photos of this Homemade Turkey Soup recipe:
If you’re interested in learning a few tricks that I did to improve my food photography, check out the posts 10 Food Photography Tips for New Food Bloggers and The 10 Best Food Photography Props to Improve Your Food Photography and The Food Photography Equipment I Use.
More delicious leftover turkey recipes:
Latest posts by Kristen Stevens (see all)
- Autumn Sweet Potato Pad Thai with Corn, Brussels, and Kale - September 18, 2017
- Peruvian Lomo Saltado - September 12, 2017
- Lightened Up Feta Tomato Spinach Strata - September 9, 2017