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Mom's Keeping Thanksgiving Going Turkey Soup

This soup was always my favorite part of our Thanksgiving Feast, and it was always prepared the day after Thanksgiving, which kept the holiday going through the entire weekend. That is, it was served on the years that my Mom won the battle for the turkey carcasses with my Uncle Joe; each year there was a secret contest between the two over the coveted carcasses. For Uncle Joe, they were a great treat for his dogs (today I don't know of many people who would give turkey to their dogs as it can cause intestinal distress, but Uncle Joe's dogs didn't seem to mind.) For Mom, they were the basis of the stock for her traditional turkey soup. Those years when Uncle Joe beat Mom to the prize, our secondary feast was delayed until someone got out to the store to buy some turkey wings and drumsticks. These replaced, and on years when the prize was split, supplemented the carcass. For typical families with only a single turkey carcass, the addition of a supplemental wing and drumstick is the perfect solution, and is the recipe that I provide here. If you want to go with just the carcass, you can still make a great soup, just reduce the volume of everything by about 1/2. Happy Thanksgiving, and Bon Apetite!


1 Turkey Carcass; remove remaining meat and reserve (refrigerated) for later

1 uncooked turkey wing and drumstick

1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut to your preferred size

1 bunch celery, cut to preferred size

4 cups cubed boiling potatoes

2-3 large onions, diced

3 cups fresh curly or Italian parsley, minced

3-4 large bayleaves

1/2 tsp ground, dried thyme

1 tsp ground, dried sage

salt and pepper to taste:

optional: cooked rice, quinoa, or egg noodles



Put carcass, wing and drumstick in a large stock pot. Add water until turkey is just covered. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours. Throughout this time refresh water levels when necessary-- probably about once per 1/2 hour.

Remove pot from heat.

Remove all turkey solids from broth.

Salvage all meat that you can from the wing and drumstick; reserve & refrigerate.

Add 4 cups cold water to broth, followed by 4 trays of ice.

With broth cooled, the fat should have risen to the surface. Skim surface fat (a yellowy oil) and discard. 

Add dried seasonings and vegetables to broth and return to a boil.

Reserve parsley till later.

Reduce to simmer; cook vegetables until carrots and potatoes are soft, 30-60 minutes depending upon size.

Add minced parsley and turkey meat. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or egg noodles if you'd like, or enjoy as is.

Eat, enjoy, and eat some more! Happy Holidays to you!


Reader Comments (1)

Ahhhhhhhhh....mom couln't even pronounce quinoa, let alone cook it. And don't forget: every year that Uncle Joe got the carcass Mom would go out on New Year's morning and shoot one of his dogs while he was passed out, then field dress it and serve it to us that night. That's why she never felt bad about losing the turkey carcass. (And ask me for my roast turkey recipe. Go on, I dare ya.)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDangerspouse

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