You’ve just finished your wonderful holiday turkey dinner. The leftovers are neatly packed in the fridge. But are you stumped with what to do with your leftover turkey bones that still have yummy bits of meat on them? Use that leftover turkey meat and carcass to make homemade turkey noodle soup! It’s easy and delicious, full of flavor and veggies! And it tastes so much better than store-bought soup. Here’s how!
If you are just too tired to tackle a bit more cooking on the day you cook your turkey, it’s okay. You can simply wrap up the turkey carcass in aluminum foil and store it in the fridge until the next day. But, we actually make our stock right after we’ve cleaned up the kitchen from our meal, store it in the fridge overnight and make our homemade turkey noodle soup the next day.
Make the stock.
First, you need a pot big enough to hold the carcass. Put it in the pot and completely cover it with water. Some people add veggies like onions, carrots, or celery during this step, but we don’t. Get the water to a boil, and then turn down the heat to medium low to low and simmer the carcass for 2 hours. Easy-peasy, and that’s why we go ahead and do this the same day. (I was tired from Thanksgiving Day cooking and entertaining, so I forgot to take pictures of this part – sorry!)
Once it is done simmering, the broth should be a nice pale yellow. Strain the contents of the pot through a sieve or colander into another pot so you are only left with the clear broth. Cool down the broth for about 15 minutes, so it is cool enough to go into the fridge. Store the broth in the fridge for several hours to overnight, so that the fat rises to the top. This will make it much easier to skim off the fat.
Here’s what it looked like when I took it out of the fridge this morning. (Two days after we made this stock.)
Skim off the fat.
Once the broth has been chilled in the fridge and the fat has formed a skin on the top, simply use a spoon to skim the fat off. I put it in an empty glass jar and throw it away.
Ingredients for homemade turkey noodle soup.
The soup is so easy and only has a few ingredients.
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(This recipe made 12 cups of soup)
8 c. homemade turkey stock, with fat removed
4 c. water
1 c. chopped carrots
5 stalks chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
12 oz. egg noodles (I use No Yolk dumplings)
2 c. chopped cooked turkey
1/4 tsp. each fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, and sage
1/2 tsp. black pepper or spicy pepper ( I use Mr. Pepper for everything- it has a bit of cayenne added)
1 tsp. salt
Directions for making turkey noodle soup.
I sautéed the veggies in a spoonful of butter until the onions were translucent and carrots and celery were softened.
Add the sautéed vegetables to the soup.
Next, add the water. It will vary, depending on how much broth you end up making from your turkey, but it is basically 2 parts broth to 1 part water. So, since I had about 8 cups of broth, I added 4 cups of water.
Add a tsp. of pepper and 1 tsp. of salt. I currently have fresh herbs so I also added some finely chopped sage, rosemary, and thyme, but you could add a 1/4 tsp. each of the dried herbs as well.
Add the turkey. We had both dark and white turkey meat left over, so I chopped up some of both to make 2 cups.
Looks good already…
Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, add the bag of egg noodles. I really like using dumplings because they are nice and wide. Let the soup boil for 1 minute and then turn it down to simmer. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve your homemade turkey noodle soup with crusty bread and you have a delicious hearty meal your whole family will love.
Have extra soup left over? Freeze it.
Best of all, this soup freezes really well. So make plenty! After the soup has cooled down in the fridge, pour it into storage containers or freezer bags, and load up your freezer for easy meals later!
Making your own homemade turkey noodle soup is easy, economical, and so delicious. I just know your whole family will love it!
P.S. Here is another easy yet hearty meal your family will love, now that the weather is getting cooler: Crock pot goulash with spinach.
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