Turkey soup is much heartier than chicken soup. It has a stronger, bolder, deeper flavor.
The thing I like about making broth is that it’s economical. You eat a turkey one day (or maybe several) and then when there’s not much meat left, you use the carcass to make delicious soup, which can be another meal on its own or an appetizer.
Turkey and chicken soup is also pretty easy to make once you know a couple of tricks. Here’s a brief summary of those tricks that we’ll review later (see bolded instructions below):
- Refrigerate the broth overnight so that the fat congeals and is easy to skim off.
- Throw away the vegetables you used to make the broth. Boil new ones in a separate pot of water to add to the soup when it’s done.
- Make servings of soup as you need them. You can make a big pot of soup with all of the noodles, pasta, or rice that you plan on using but I find it easier to make it as I need it over a few days.
The first thing you do is throw the carcass in a large soup pot and fill it with water. You add a few vegetables and some salt and pepper to help flavor it, and that’s it. You bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for an hour or more, with the lid askew on top.
Turn off the heat, and let the soup cool awhile before straining it through a strainer into a clean pot. Then put the soup into the refrigerator and leave it overnight. The next day, the fat has congealed and is floating on top where it’s easy to remove with a tablespoon.
Next, figure out what you want to add to the soup and the trick here is to boil those items separately in a small pot of water. Do not boil these items in the soup itself or you risk having all the flavors of the soup turn to steam and burn off.
I usually use some chopped carrots, celery, and some type of pasta: pasta noodles; or tortellini; or even tiny pastina work well. Depending on how large your turkey carcass is, you’re sure to enjoy this soup for several days. And why not, it tastes great and has plenty of nutritional value: I’m guessing it’s even more powerful than chicken soup.
Lastly, use the soup to make servings as you need them. For instance, the first night you may only need to make four servings. So measure out enough of the soup for four servings and put it into a pot.
As you heat the soup up slowly being careful that it doesn’t boil, take another pot of water and bring that to a boil. Add your noodles or pasta to that pot (or make rice if that’s what you’re using) and cook until al dente. Remove the pasta or noodles from the boiling water and add them to the hot soup. Also add the reserved pieces of turkey.
Next cut up enough carrots and celery for four servings (use your judgement) and boil them in that separate pot. When done, add them to the soup.
Serve the soup with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional, but I wouldn’t make soup without it).
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Once you know a couple of tricks, turkey soup is easy to make.
- To Make the Broth:
- Turkey carcass, take most of the meat off before boiling
- Carrots, 1 or 2 broken in 2 or 3 pieces
- Celery stalks, 1 or two broken in a few pieces
- Onion, medium, quartered
- Salt, pepper to taste
- Bay Leaf, one or two
- Fresh herbs (optional), such as parsley, sage and/or lovage.
- To Make Soup Servings:
- Carrot, 1 or 2 cut into 1-inch pieces
- Celery, 1 or 2 stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
- Pasta or cooked rice or noodles. You can use macaroni noodles, tortellini, or even pastina.
- Turkey pieces
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
- Step 1 Strip carcass of any good meat that is left and then put it in a large soup pot. Put good turkey meat aside.
- Step 2 Fill the pot with cold water until it covers the carcass.
- Step 3 Add carrots, onion, celery, salt, pepper and herbs (optional).
- Step 4 Bring pot to a boil and then reduce heat and let it simmer for at least an hour.
- Step 5 Take pot away from heat and let the broth cool for awhile until it’s safe to strain.
- Step 6 Strain soup into a clean pot. Discard the vegetables and the carcass. Put the soup into the refrigerator overnight.
- Step 7 The next day, the fat will congeal and will be floating ontop. Take a tablespoon and carefully skim the fat off the top and discard it.
- Step 8 Heat up the broth, but don’t let it boil.
- Step 9 In a separate smaller pot filled with water boil pasta, noodles or rice. When it’s tender or al dente, add it to the soup.
- Step 10 Next, boil the carrot and celery pieces until tender. Add them to the soup. Also add the reserved turkey pieces to the soup.
- Step 11 Serve soup hot with a side of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional).