When I'm cleaning up the kitchen after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, I get the meat off the carcass and throw it right into a pot to start a broth. (much easier to store soup later than a whole carcass) There are SO many options to make Leftover Turkey Soup exactly the way your family likes it, and utilize all the other leftover from the holiday dinner **
Remove all usable turkey meat from turkey carcass to save for making sandwiches later or for adding to the soup. Break up leftover bones of carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, 1/2 tsp EACH sage & marjoram, 1 tsp basil, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns. (I throw in a sprig of fresh rosemary too)
Bring to boil and immediately reduce heat to a bare simmer or just below simmer. ( If you would like to have a clear stock, do not bring the stock to a boil, but keep the stock below a simmer, as the more you simmer, the more cloudy the stock will be. Otherwise, bring it to a low simmer.) Skim off any foam that may float to the surface.
Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper. It sort of depends on how big your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later. Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occasionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. Remove the bones and veggies, and discard (the veggies are too soft after 4 hrs). You can strain the stock, if you want (or not). You can refrigerate any stock you don’t use, for use another night.
Making the Turkey Soup
With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, 1 heaping TB crushed garlic, and more herbs, salt & pepper (to taste). Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. You can add rice, noodles, or even leftover mashed potatoes (I like the potatoes in there; it thickens it up a bit). Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. If you want, you can also add a can of diced tomatoes (I like Italian ~ add liquid too). Check seasonings again and add more, if needed. Simmer about 15 more minutes and serve.
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