Savory Turkey Soup Made From Thanksgiving Leftovers

turkey soup

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for most of the past four decades and the best part is having leftovers the next day. Five years ago, I started making savory turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers and now it’s become a day-after tradition.

After Thanksgiving dinner is over, I carve up all of the leftover turkey and divide it up among the guests to take home. Then I get several large freezer bags and put in the carcass, bones, drippings from the carving platter, scraps of turkey skin, and bits of stuffing. On Friday, while most people are out shopping, I make a pot of turkey soup. The whole house fills with the aroma of the bubbling soup and my mouth waters in anticipation of the day-after dinner.

Savory Turkey Soup Recipe

  1. Break turkey carcass in half and place in large soup kettle along with any bones, drippings, skin, and stuffing.
  2. Cover with cold water by an inch.
  3. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer.
  4. Skim off foam that floats to surface.
  5. Add: quartered onion, 3 carrots cut in chunks, celery heart with leaves, bay leaf, peppercorns, and parsley.
  6. Simmer uncovered for 3 – 4 hours and let stock reduce to about half.
  7. Taste after 3 hours to see if flavor is rich enough. If not, continue cooking for another hour. I always add some leftover gravy to the stock which gives it a richer flavor. Add salt to taste.
  8. Strain soup in a colander and discard bones and veggies. If you refrigerate it for a few hours, you’ll be able to skim off the fat before serving.

When you’re ready to serve it, you can add whatever you like to the stock. I like to simmer diced carrots and celery in the broth until tender. Then I add frozen petite peas, brown rice or egg noddles just before serving. You can also add some leftover turkey meat.

As I savor my soup on the day after Thanksgiving, I remind myself again how thankful I am for all the good things in my life—especially the bowl of soup in front of me.


  1. says

    The soup sounds delicious., unfortunately we didn’t have any leftover turkey. Next year I’ll need to buy a larger one. But I think we would still eat it all.