Turkey soup is just as much a Thanksgiving tradition as the bird itself! Turkey bones, slowly simmered, make a rich, flavorful broth.
Having a hot, comforting bowl of soup for a late dinner on Thanksgiving is something I look forward to every year. I admit it: We eat our Thanksgiving meal early partly to make sure we get to enjoy this soup that same night!
This turkey soup is so rich and delicious. We always save the turkey carcass after carving, plus any skin we’re not interested in eating. Turkey bones and skin, slowly simmered over several hours, make a rich, flavorful broth. 🍲
The ingredients you’ll need
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this tasty soup. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below.
What you’ll need for the basic broth:
- Bones from a 10-12-lb. turkey. If some meat is still attached to the bones, that’s even better and will make for a richer, more flavorful soup.
- Water: Enough to cover the bones.
- Seasonings: I like to use kosher salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and a bay leaf.
What you’ll need for the soup:
- Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you’d rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. Another tasty option is butter or ghee.
- Vegetables: I use sliced carrots, sliced celery, chopped onion, and frozen peas.
- Cooked white and dark turkey meat. Be sure to remove the skin.
- Wide egg noodles, uncooked – this is an optional ingredient. I mostly add it for the kids.
How to make a leftover turkey soup
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. The basics? Here you go:
Simmer a turkey carcass in water for three hours, then strain the rich broth and discard the bones.
Cook some vegetables (onions, celery, peas, and carrots) in olive oil or in butter.
Add the strained broth and noodles (if using), and cook until heated through or until the noodles are tender.
Is it low carb?
The recipe as written is not. But you can easily make a keto version by simply omitting the peas, carrots, and noodles. No other changes are necessary.
The soup will still be wonderfully rich and flavorful. In fact, I often cook these items separately and add them just to the kids’ soup bowls.
How to serve turkey soup
I usually serve it as a main-dish soup. So rather than serve cups of it as an appetizer, I serve generous bowls and then it makes the perfect after-Thanksgiving dinner – rich, flavorful, and comforting.
Since this soup contains meat and vegetables (and a starch if you wish), it makes a complete and very filling meal.
How long can I keep leftovers?
Leftovers of this turkey soup keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days. I reheat bowls of the soup in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
You can also freeze individual portions in mugs. Seal their tops with a few layers of plastic wrap.
More leftover turkey recipes
I think most will agree that leftover meals are just as fun as the Thanksgiving meal itself! Here’s a collection of leftover turkey recipes.
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For the basic broth:
- Bones from a 10-12-lb. turkey
- 3 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the turkey soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups cooked white and dark turkey meat, skinless, chopped (10 oz)
- 2 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked (4 oz)
- Place the turkey bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low so that stock is at a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, for 3 hours, skimming foam off the surface occasionally.
- Remove the bones and the bay leaf. Strain the stock through a strainer. Measure how much liquid you have – you should now have about 2 quarts of soup. If you have less, add enough water to get to 2 quarts. Wipe the stockpot dry with paper towels.
- In the clean stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and onion (omit the carrots for a keto version). Cook about 10 minutes, stirring, until onions are golden but not browned. Add the peas (unless keto) and the turkey meat and cook, stirring, 1 more minute.
- Skim the fat layer from the top of the broth if you wish (I don’t), then add it back to the stockpot. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles if using, lower heat to medium and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes, just until carrots and noodles are tender.
Calories 263, Fat 9g, Sodium 412mg, Carbs 24g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 5g, Protein 20g