Turkey Soup Variations

Turkey Soup Like Mom Used To Make

The first recipe for the stock here is from The Foood Charlatan website. Karen makes a lot of wonderful stuff! (This recipe was added on the day after Thanksgiving, 2023.)

Make The Stock


  • 1 12-15 pound turkey carcass, picked over (Heavier? Add more stuff!)
  • Turkey neck, if you have it (it’s ok if you don’t)
  • Giblets, if you have them (it’s ok if you don’t)
  • Leftover turkey drippings, if you have them (it's ok if you don't)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled, chopped into thirds
  • about 1/3 a head of celery, leaves included, chopped into thirds
  • 1 large bunch of parsley, roughly torn or chopped
  • 1/2 bunch sage, roughly torn or chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8-10 whole peppercorns
  • about 4 quarts of water, or just cover the ingredients in the pot with water


  1. Place your turkey carcass into a very large stock pot (at least 6-quart capacity.) Add in your turkey neck, giblets, any skin, and leftover turkey drippings, if you have them. It’s okay if you don’t, you will still get a great turkey stock from just the carcass.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic. Chop off about a third of a head of celery, the end that has the leaves preferably, but use what you have. You should have several short stalks. Add them to the pot.
  3. Add a bunch of parsley, half a bunch of sage, 3-4 sprigs of rosemary, and about 5 sprigs of thyme.* Tear the herbs up a bit so they start releasing flavor faster.
  4. Add 3 bay leaves and 8-10 peppercorns.
  5. Cover the turkey and vegetables with about 4 quarts of water, or however much you need to submerge everything in the pot (at least mostly, some parts sticking out is okay.)
  6. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. After if has come to a rapid boil, turn the burner down to just below medium, or wherever you can maintain a low simmer. There should be gentle bubbles but nothing too active.The liquid should be gently moving at all times, not still.
  7. Simmer for about 2-4 hours. See how chill this recipe is? I would say 2 hours is the minimum, 4 hours will get you a super duper rich stock. Check on it every now and then, and skim off any foam or scum that may settle on the top. If your water is boiling off too quickly and the bones start to stick out of the water, add more water to cover it up, and bring back to a simmer.
  8. Pour the stock through a colander into a large bowl (or two), catching any bones or vegetables.
  9. At this point I like to use a gravy fat separator to easily discard all the fat that will rise to the top. You can also just wait for the stock to cool (or refrigerate/freeze it) and skim the fat off with a spoon.
  10. Allow stock to cool before moving to an airtight container and placing in the fridge or freezer. I like to use mason jars if you plan to store in the fridge, or quart size ziplocks if you plan to freeze.
  11. Use this turkey stock as a base for soups or anything that calls for chicken broth!
  12. Stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.


The following soup recipe is from the Jo Cooks website. I don't think I've used any of Joanna's recipes before, but this one really hits close to home. It's pretty much the same as my mom made - great memories 🥰

Make The Soup

Put the stock made in the recipe above in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Then just put all the ingredients in the pot and cook 'em up!

  • 2 to 3 cups turkey meat (chopped, white or dark)
  • 8 ounce egg noodles (dry )
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 - 3 potatoes, peeled (?maybe) and diced
    • You can also add zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, green beans, peas...anything you want!
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped for garnish)
  1. Add turkey meat, noodles, and veggies to the pot. You might need to add a couple more cups of water as some of it may have evaporated. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked and the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
  2. Serve: Garnish with parsley and serve.

Turkey Soup, Altered With Rutabaga and Parsnips


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, in 1/3-inch dice
  • 2 carrots, in 1/3-inch dice
  • 1 large or 2 small parsnips, quartered lengthwise, core removed, in 1/3-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound rutabaga, thickly peeled, in 1/3-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 quarts Turkey Stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup small dried pasta, such as tubetti or orzo, or short egg noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, parsnip and rutabaga and saute about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley and saute briefly to release the garlic fragrance. Add the turkey stock and bring to a simmer.

Cover partially and adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until vegetables are barely tender, about 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the pasta and cook until barely done, about 7 minutes. Stir in the turkey, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish each portion with parsley and Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 6

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings


  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1 large poblano chile
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 1/2 quarts Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stock
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 large chard leaves, ribs removed, in 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey

Cornmeal Dumplings:

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/8teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat broiler. On a foil-lined baking sheet, broil the tomato and poblano chile until blackened and blistered all over and softened. Let cool. Peel, core and seed the tomato, then puree in a blender. Peel and seed the chile, then dice.

Heat the oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute briefly to release its fragrance. Add the oregano, crumbling it between your fingers, then add the tomato. Saute, stirring, for about 5 minutes to develop the flavor. Add the carrots and the broth. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently 5 minutes, then add the zucchini, chard, poblano chile and turkey. Remove from the heat while you prepare the dumplings.

For the dumplings: In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, butter and egg to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir just enough to moisten all the dry ingredients.

Return the soup to moderate heat and bring just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Drop spoonfuls of batter about the size of a walnut onto the soup\'s barely simmering surface, spacing the dumplings evenly and leaving room for them to double in size. You should have enough batter to make at least 12 dumplings. Depending on the diameter of your pot, you may run out of space before you run out of batter. Cover and adjust heat to maintain a bare simmer; you do not want the soup to boil. Cook 20 minutes. Divide broth and dumplings among warm soup bowls.

Serves 6

Left-Over Turkey Soup


  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
  • 1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 more stalk, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups dark turkey meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves

Put chicken broth, turkey, onion halves, carrot halves, 1 celery stalk, and 1 bay leaf in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Finely dice the remaining onion, carrot and celery and reserve.

Dice the turkey meat. Make sure meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soup spoon. (If preparing soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator, top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep meat moist.)

Before straining broth, remove large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve, covered with wet cheese cloth. Discard the solids. Transfer broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.

In a large soup pot, heat garlic cloves in the olive oil. Allow to brown slightly and add minced carrots, celery, and onion. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes.

Dice the leftover vegetables (here Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and green beans). Add the chopped sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center, and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.

Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Turkey Noodle Soup with Tomatoes

From: Gourmet Magazine Show:


  • Leftover Turkey 1 turkey carcass, broken into large pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped coarse
  • 3 carrots, chopped coarse, plus 2 cups sliced carrots pre-cooked
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, chopped coarse and drained well in a colander
  • 6 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper

What to do with them...

  1. Make sure all the meat has been removed from the carcass. Set aside.
  2. In a large kettle or stockpot combine the carcass, the celery, the carrots, the garlic, the onions, the peppercorns, and enough water to cover the mixture by 2 inches (about 6 quarts) and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 3 hours. Strain the stock through a large sieve into a large bowl, leaving the solids in the sieve, return the stock to the kettle, and boil it until it is reduced to about 10 cups.
  3. When the solids in the sieve are cool enough to handle, remove any turkey meat from the carcass and add it to the stock with carrots, crushed lightly, discarding the remaining solids. Add the tomatoes and bring the soup to a boil. Stir in the noodles, boil the soup, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, and stir in the parsley and salt and ground black pepper to taste. The soup may be made in advance, cooled completely, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled for 2 days or covered and frozen for 2 months.