Thanksgiving is just around the corner and sometimes you may have more leftovers than planned! Here is an awesome recipe on how to make a turkey stock from scratch and turkey soup. This can be stored and even frozen for later enjoyment.
For the stock:
1 turkey carcass, leftover from carving a whole turkey, including any leftover drippings or giblets (not the liver) if you have them
1 medium to large yellow onion, quartered or cut into thick wedges
1 to 2 carrots, roughly chopped (can include tops)
Several sprigs fresh parsley
1 to 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 celery rib and some celery tops (roughly chopped)
5 to 10 peppercorns
Freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
3 to 4 quarts of the turkey stock you just made
1 to 1 1/2 cups each chopped carrots, onion, and celery
A few sprigs fresh parsley leaves, chopped (2 to 4 tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (more to taste), or a combination of ground sage, thyme, marjoram, and/or a bouillon cube
2 to 4 cups leftover chopped or shredded cooked turkey meat (don't use any of the meat from making the stock, the goodness will have been cooked out of it by then)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 to 8 ounces egg noodles or 1/2 to 1 cup dry rice (optional, skip egg noodles for gluten-free version)
Making the Turkey Stock
Remove the usable turkey meat from the carcass:
Save the meat for making sandwiches or later and for adding to the soup once the stock is made.
Put the carcass, vegetables, and drippings in large pot, then cover with water:
Place the turkey carcass, neck (if you haven't cooked it with the turkey), leftover skin and bones into a large stock pot (at least 8 to 12 quarts depending on the size of the turkey), and cover with cold water by an inch.
Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy and any giblets (not the liver) that haven't been used already. Add thickly sliced onion, chopped carrots, celery, celery tops, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, and some peppercorns to the pot
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then skim the foam:
Bring to a boil on high heat, and then lower the heat to keep the stock to a bare simmer. As it simmers, skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock from time to time.
Add salt and pepper:
Add about 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, depending on how big your turkey is.
Simmer at least 4 hours:
Simmer the pot partially uncovered, continuing to skim off any foam that comes to the surface.
Strain the stock:
After 4 hours of a low simmer, remove the bones and vegetables from the pot. Then strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve or strainer.
Reduce the stock:
If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.
Make the Turkey Soup
Sauté the carrots, onions, and celery:
Heat butter or olive oil (or turkey fat rendered from the stock) in a large pot on medium high heat. Add carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts (about a cup each). Cook until the onions are softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, stock, and seasonings:
Add garlic, and cook for a minute more, until fragrant. Then, add the stock to the pot. Add parsley, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning (or the sage, thyme, marjoram, and/or a bouillon cube).
Bring to a simmer:
Cook until the vegetables are cooked through, at least more minutes.
Add the noodles or rice and turkey meat:
Add the noodles or rice If adding noodles, cook for 4 minutes. If adding rice, cook for 15 minutes.