Friday Turkey-Vegetable Soup 101

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 3h 25m

Makes 8 to 12 servings

The most common way of making leftover turkey soup is to toss the carcass and vegetables into a pot and simmer with water until the broth is flavorful. That's a good beginning, but the flavor is also cooked out of the turkey meat and vegetables (and you have to look out for little pieces of bone in your soup). It's a better idea to treat this broth as the first step in the soup-making process.


  • For the Soup Base:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium celery rib with leaves, chopped
  • 1 turkey carcass, chopped into large pieces, with edible meat removed and reserved
  • 4 parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • For the Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Friday Turkey Soup Base (recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups bite-size pieces cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper



In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey carcass. Pour in enough cold water (about 3 quarts) to cover the carcass by at least 1 inch. Make sure to use cold water to make your broth: it will draw more flavor from the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.

Add the parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns. Don't be afraid to add enough salt. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, adding more water as needed to keep the carcass covered, until the broth is well flavored, at least 2 and up to 4 hours.

Place a cheesecloth- or kitchen towel-lined colander over a large bowl or pot. Pour the soup base through the colander, and discard the solids. Let the base stand for 5 minutes, then skim any clear fat from the surface. Add enough water to make 2 quarts soup base; or, return to the pot and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 quarts. (The soup base can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cool completely, then store in airtight containers.)


In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, turnip and garlic, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add the soup base and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. To thicken and enhance the color and flavor of the soup, stir cold gravy into the soup to taste during the last 10 minutes of simmering. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the turkey. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cool completely and store in airtight containers.)

Recipe reprinted by permission of Broadway Books. All rights reserved.

RecID 839

nutrition information per serving

126 calories; 7g total fat; 34mg cholesterol; 1008mg sodium; 6g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 11g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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