There is something truly glorious about a richly-flavored soup. Any time I roast, smoke, or fry a turkey I look forward to making soup stock and a turkey soup with vegetables that is a divine meal all by itself.
- Turkey carcass
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 head of celery
- 4 cups carrots (either use baby carrots, or peel the large ones)
- 4 small onions (or 2 large)
- Whatever leftover turkey you have, shredded or diced
- 3 Tbsp. Carbquik or flour (both are optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. thyme leaves (also optional)
Get your turkey carcass. Break it up, if necessary in order for it to fit into your large soup pot or pressure cooker or crockpot. Place it in with a cup or 2 of chicken stock or vegetable broth and half the vegetables listed above. The vegetables that are going to be in at this time to make your stock can be in large pieces. All of the flavor is going to be cooked out of them (and into your turkey stock), so they will be discarded later, along with all the bones. Note: Don’t put your turkey meat in at this time. It’s going to go in later, when the stock is done and you’re ready to make it into soup. Add salt and pepper.
Let it pressure for an hour, or let it cook in the crockpot or simmer on the stove top all day. [Note: If you are cooking it on the stovetop, rather than in a pressure cooker or crockpot, use more chicken stock.] When it’s done, strain it. The flavor will have cooked out of everything, leaving amazing stock.
While you are cooking the carcass, cut up the remaining half of the vegetables into small pieces. It was a perfect opportunity for me to try out my new Ninja Master Prep (thank you, Bob Warden and QVC for introducing me to such an amazing product!). I piled everything in. Since the device has stacked blades (3 vertical rows in this particular unit), it was able to chop them all without the bottom stuff getting overprocessed.
Fully sliced and diced. I added oil to the bottom of a heated pan, processed the rest of the celery, then got ready to make soup. [That’s how I did it when I originally posted this recipe in 2011. These days, I have a different technique: I cook the vegetables for the soup in a cup or so of chicken stock in a microwave pressure cooker for 12 minutes. That is a really quick and easy way to get the vegetables just right.]
Saute [or microwave pressure cook] the vegetables along with the thyme leaves (optional) until tender. Add the turkey stock. Simmer together to blend the flavors. If a thicker soup is desired, you can ladle out a cup of the mixture into a heatproof container. Mix with your thickening agent (Carbquik or flour), then slowly add back to the soup, stirring until blended. Give the soup a taste test and add salt and pepper, as needed. After the mixture has simmered a few minutes, add the leftover turkey. When it is warmed through, you are ready to eat! Your amazing turkey soup is done!