Turkey Carcass Soup
By Kath Dedon
Turkey Carcass Soup might be the best reason to roast a Thanksgiving turkey! This recipe is adapted from one by Jane Brody in her Good Food Book; she says her husband is convinced that she roasts turkey just for the carcass for this soup.
I like the fact that it makes use of the whole turkey. The wings are cut off and saved for the soup. The rest of the carcass is ready for the soup after most of the meat has been cut away. Leaving some of the meat on the bones adds a ton of flavor to the turkey broth. Be sure to save the skin to add to the stock pot, too!
I always save about 1 cup of turkey meat to add to the soup. After giving “its all” in the long simmer for the stock, the meat that’s left on the bones is not that great.
After making the turkey stock, I use about 6 cups of it to make Turkey Carcass Soup, and I freeze the rest for future recipes.
The recipe calls for barley or rice. It’s great either way. This time I used brown rice; it holds up better than white rice.
Ms. Brody uses ½ cup of chopped mushrooms in her recipe, which is not enough for me. I used 2 cups of sliced mushrooms.
Bob loves this soup! It should have made 4 servings, but he had “seconds” last night, so there’s just enough for 2 small servings for lunch today.
Turkey Carcass Soup
(Adapted from the recipe in Jane Brody’s Good Food Book)
Soup Serves 4 (with extra broth to save for other uses)
1 turkey carcass, broken in pieces
12 – 18 cups water, or enough to cover the carcass completely (In my 12-quart pot I use 18 cups.)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, cut in about 6 pieces
2 large stalks of celery, each cut in about 6 pieces
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
Bouquet garni, made by tying in cheesecloth 6 sprigs fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried) and a few sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
2 – 3 teaspoons Kosher salt (depending on how much water you add)
1. Put everything in a large pot (I used a 12-quart stock pot). Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so it is barely simmering. (You should just see a tiny bubble surface now and then.) Partially cover so the stock will reduce a bit and get more concentrated, and simmer for 3 – 4 hours.
2. Strain the stock and discard the turkey and vegetables.
3. Use 6 cups for the soup; the rest can be frozen for later use.
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced carrot (about 1 large)
½ cup diced celery (about 1 large stalk)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1½ tablespoons potato starch (substitute flour if you don’t need gluten-free)
6 cups turkey broth
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/3 cup raw brown rice (or 1/3 cup raw barley)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup diced turkey meat
1. Have all of the vegetables cut and ready to go.
2. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic; cook for a few minutes until they are softened.
3. Add the carrot, celery, and mushrooms to the pot. Lightly salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the flour; cook, stirring for about 1 minute.
5. Remove the pot from the burner. Pour in a bit of the broth and stir until it is well blended. Add the rest of the broth.
6. Return the pot to the burner. Add the marjoram and the rice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat so it’s simmering. Cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
7. Add the turkey meat. Taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper, if necessary. Enjoy!