After Friendsgiving, we always have more turkey than we know what to do with. My go to answer, in the days after, is always soup. However, I’m a bit of a lazy cook—I take a few shortcuts here and there—and I never want to spend the time to make stock, and then add that stock to a soup. I’d rather pull down Christmas decorations!
I was pretty sure there were others like me, others that had an interest in making a turkey bone soup (kind of like a ham bone soup), rather than stock, from their leftover turkey carcass. But the only recipe I managed to dig up was this one. Unfortunately, it’s rather…unspecific about the turkey bones themselves, but we decided to try it anyway. Just call us the Bennett test kitchen.
We also didn’t have any leftover stuffing, and instead served it over rice, so this is modified a bit from the original recipe.
- Turkey bones, with meat attached
- 1 cup turkey gravy
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup cooked rice per person
Put all the ingredients (except the salt) with 10 cups the water into a large soup pot over medium heat, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. After about an hour you should be able to pull the bones out and the meat will fall off back into the soup. Let it cook for another 1/2 hour, salt to taste, and serve.
If you’re feeding a crowd, you can add the rice once you’ve pulled all the bones out and let it cook with the soup. We don’t like to cook the rice in the soup because it continues to soften in the leftovers and turns to mush, so we cook it separately.
Notes On The Turkey Carcass
The original recipe is pretty unspecific on how to deal with the turkey itself. We chose to make the soup using the full legs and wings, and the bottom portion of the turkey carcass—namely the hip and spine section. I left out the ribs to keep from having to pick out a huge amount of small bones. In all, it was roughly three or so pounds of meat and bones.
Whether to use the skin is also at your discretion. Like I’ve said before, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to soups, so we threw everything in with whatever skin was still on it, and pulled out any weirdly large pieces when we pulled out the bones. A fair warning, this will add some fat to your soup. It didn’t add an unbearable amount to ours, and you can skim all of it off any leftovers very easily.