Turkey Carcass Soup
This soup is made from what’s left over after serving the turkey: the bones and the meat that clings to them. Our family jokes about the unappetizing name, but the soup is really very good. It’s mild, flavorful, and so satisfying. Serve with homemade bread.
Prepare the meat and broth:
One turkey carcass (or turkey breast carcass), most of meat removed
This is not an exact science. Use the bones and the meat left on them. It’s best not to use a smoked bird, because the flavor is too intense. But, you can use the smoked meat if you use fresh broth.
Cover the turkey with water in a large (8 quart) stock pot. Season with 1-2 t. salt and a few bay leaves, perhaps some dried parsley. If you like, throw in a carrot or two, a half onion, and a stalk of celery, roughly cut. These vegetables will all be discarded after they release their flavor into the broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer at least an hour. Cool, then remove turkey from bones. If necessary, add some of the turkey that you had previously removed to bring up the amount to 4 cups. Strain the broth. You need 4 quarts of broth for the soup.
2 T. butter
2 cups EACH chopped onion, celery, and carrots
4 quarts broth
2 T. chicken soup base or chicken granules (if necessary)
4 oz. rice or small pasta (such as broken spaghetti) OR 2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups English peas (canned or frozen)
4 cups turkey meat, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 T. dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To make the soup:
In an 8-quart pot: (you can use the same one), sauté vegetables in butter. Add broth, bring to a boil, and stir in chicken base or granules if broth seems too thin. Add the rice or pasta and cook (uncovered) 20-30 minutes. Stir in meat, peas and seasonings. Heat through (about 10 minutes.)
6-8 servings, depending on what else you have
Note: If you have leftover green beans, lima beans, squash, fresh herbs, etc. add them if it makes you happy.