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Dec 27, 2020

Homemade Turkey Soup

Homemade turkey soup filled with vegetables, herbs, garlic, and other seasonings, all in a long simmered homemade stock. 

Homemade Turkey Soup with veggies

This homemade turkey soup will become your new post-holiday tradition. 

We have been making this homemade turkey soup every year after Thanksgiving or whenever we have a turkey carcass. It has been a fun production year after year resulting in a delicious soup. 

Homemade Turkey Soup with carrots

There is a lot of leeway in making this soup depending on how much of the ingredients you have available, so don't sweat it if you have more or less of the ingredients in this recipe.

To make the soup, you begin by stripping the the turkey carcass of as much as the turkey as you can and setting it aside to add to the final soup. 

Next, you simmer the turkey carcass in water along with onions, carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, and celery tops, plus a few peppercorns. If you have leftover turkey wings, be sure to add them too. 

Homemade Turkey Soup with peas

Once you have strained the turkey stock, you chill it in the refrigerator overnight and skim off the extra fat the next day. 

You will end up with this amazing gelatinous base with which to make your soup. 

Just so you know, if you taste the stock, you might find the flavor disappointing. Trust me, if it is gelatinous, your stock is good. Once you add salt, your stock will come to life. 

Homemade Turkey Soup with potatoes

Before reheating the stock, heat some tomato paste and oil on the bottom of a stock pot or Dutch oven to develop a little umami, and then add some minced garlic. 

Quickly add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Add the veggies, potatoes, herbs, and other seasonings and bring the mixture to a simmer. One of my favorite ingredients to add is Better Than Boullion Turkey Base, which is a concentrated stock normally used for making gravy. 

This ingredient is optional. You could substitute other boullion concentrates, a demi-glace, or simply adjust the salt. 

Once the vegetables are cooked, you add all of the chopped turkey and any leftover vegetables from you holiday dinner. In the past, I've added string beans. This time, we didn't have any leftover veggies, so we added a cup of frozen peas. 

Frozen corn would be good too! 

Homemade turkey soup with beans

This is a recipe update of a tried and true Karen's Kitchen Stories original! I first posted this recipe in December, 2013 (see above photo). I've remade the recipe, updated the photos, and created a new printable recipe card. 

You could also adapt this recipe to a rotisserie chicken! 

Homemade Turkey Soup

Homemade Turkey Soup Recipe

Homemade Turkey Soup Recipe
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Author: Karen Kerr
Homemade turkey soup filled with vegetables, herbs, garlic, and other seasonings, all in a long simmered homemade stock.


For the Turkey Stock
  • Turkey carcass that has been stripped of most of the turkey meat. Add any additional parts such as wings. Break it up into pieces as best you can
  • Water to cover the carcass
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 roughly chopped carrots
  • 6 to 8 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Celery tops from one bunch of celery
  • 10 peppercorns
For the Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups each of sliced carrots, onions, and celery
  • 3 new potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces, peel left on
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon turkey or chicken stock base, such as Better Than Boullion (optional)
  • 1 14-ounce can of of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 cups of cubed leftover turkey
  • 1 squeeze of Sriracha, Tapatio, or another hot sauce (optional)
  • Any leftover or frozen vegetables such as green beans, peas, or corn
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To Make the Stock
  1. Place the broken up carcass and turkey wings into an 8 quart stock pot or Dutch oven and cover with water to about an inch above the bones.
  2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Heat to a low simmer and cook for about 4 hours.
  4. Using tongs, pull out of the large bones and vegetable pieces and discard.
  5. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and discard any debris that is captured by the strainer.
  6. Refrigerate the liquid overnight.
  7. The next day, scrape off any fat from the top of the gelatin.
To Make the Soup
  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté the tomato paste for about a minute. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes.
  4. Add the parsley, poultry seasoning, boillion base, and tomatoes.
  5. Simmer on low until the carrots and potatoes are cooked but still firm.
  6. Add the cubed turkey and the hot sauce.
  7. Bring to a simmer and add any other cooked vegetables you like and cook until heated through.
  8. Add about 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. Add more to taste.



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soup, turkey, holiday, leftovers
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Beautiful, hearty recipe Karen, thank you! Merry Christmas!

  2. It's been so cold this week. This soup would be perfect!

  3. Perfect looking soup for a wintery day! It looks so hearty with all those vegetables.

  4. I make one where I use leftover stuffing to make dumplings but I love these classic ingredients. But the Sriracha? Now that's awesome.

    1. Ooooh, stuffing dumplings! That sounds epic! Thanks!

  5. This soup makes me happy that it's winter! The perfect bowl of comfort!!!

  6. Nothing beats a big bowl of a delicious soup! What a fantastic way to use leftover turkey. Can't wait to make a big batch.

  7. Turkey soup is my reason for making a turkey! I love all the big hearty veggies in your recipe. I can't wait to try this one!

  8. That is a delicious looking bowl of soup!


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