While the holidays are over and cold weather isn’t as magical as it was in December. You can look forward making turkey noodle soup from scratch using your the carcass of Thanksgiving past. I alway break down and freeze the turkey carcass (and wings) in a gallon zip-close bag. It is a favorite way to get another meal from the holidays.
If you don’t have a frozen turkey carcass on hand, so can enjoy this soup using the bones from whole chickens (think rotisserie chickens that you can get from the deli). Plan on three chicken carcasses to equal the same bone weight as an average turkey carcass.
When you carve a turkey (or chicken) remove the thighs and drumsticks and then the wings as described in this blog post. Continue carving as the steps described and package the carcass in a gallon-size zip-close bag. The tidbits of meat left on the bones with add flavor to the stock. I usually add the wings to the freezer bag whole and plan on that meat being what I use for the soup. Remember food safety and get the carcass in the fridge or freezer as quickly as you can after carving.
The difference between Stock and Broth
While many use the terms interchangeably, in the culinary world a stock is made from bones and vegetables simmer in water to extract all the flavor and gelatin (think body, nutrients and flavor). This liquid can be used in many dishes or reduced to a thick syrup called a demi-glaze. So while stock is a ingredient used to make other dishes, a broth can be the finished dish itself.
Broths are quicker to make since if making a protein broth only the meat is used instead of bones. The resulting liquid is seasoned and then served. So in our recipe we will make a turkey stock, and then flavor it to make the liquid broth in our soup.
Vegetables to Use in Making a Turkey Noodle Soup from Scratch
The trinity of onions, carrots and celery are fundamental in making stock. Scraps—leek tops, fennel fonds, mushrooms stems are great additions to a stock. Using what would be thrown away makes this recipe good for our pocketbook as well as good for the planet.
Avoid using cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips) since the flavor of these foods would overpower the stock.
Since we are using a carcass as the base for the stock, I don’t take the extra step of roasting to boost the flavor. If you are making stock from raw bones and parts, I highly recommend you roast both the bones and veggies on a pan in a 450°F oven for 20-25 minutes to add a wonderful flavor.
Plan on 2 pounds of bones, and 1/2 pound of mixed vegetables for every gallon of water. While you will start with one gallon of liquid, you will end up with about 2 quarts of stock when the cooking is finished.
What Kind of Pot to Cook Stock In
The simple answer is a big one. Stock pots are usually taller than they are wide with a thick bottom for even heat and a lid. You want to use a pot that allow the water to completely cover the bones in order to extract all the goodness into the liquid. A turkey carcass is not flexible, and a frozen carcass is even harder to manhandle into the pot. The pan I use to make stock is one where the bones stick out of the water for the first hour of cooking, but then I can use a spoon to break down the carcass so the liquid covers everything.Print
It’s so easy to make turkey noodle soup from scratch using a turkey carcass and vegetables. Easy, delicious and budget-friendly!
For the Stock
- 1 turkey carcass (about 4 pounds) no need to defrost it
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut into halves or quarters
- 4 stalks celery, cut into thirds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 8 sprigs of fresh parsley (you can use just the stems)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gallon of water
For the soup
- 8 ounces of egg noodles, whatever shape you prefer.
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into medium dice
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 leek (bottom part only) cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch half moons
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely minced
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Place the turkey carcass, onions, celery, carrots and any other vegetables in the pot.
- Add the water and toss in the parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a boil with the lid on. Remove the lid and with a mesh strainer remove any gray foam that forms on the surface of the water.
- Reduce the heat to low (maintain a simmer) and cook with the lid off for 2 hours, periodically skimming off any gray foam that collects on the surface until the liquid has reduced by about half.
- Turn off the heat and using tongs transfer the turkey carcass from the pot, set aside.
- Carefully remove the large vegetables from the hot liquid and discard. When the large pieces are gone. Arrange a strainer over a large bowl (at least 3 quarts) and being careful of the hot liquid strain the stock from the leftover bits. Discard the pieces in the strainer and wipe the stockpot clean.
- Return the hot broth to the stock pot and turn on the heat to medium.
- While the stock is heating, go through the turkey carcass and remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and chop any large pieces of meat into bite size pieces, set aside.
- In a separate saucepan, over medium-high heat bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente.
- While the water for the noodles is coming to a boil, prepare the vegetables for the soup.
- When the noodles are added to the boiling water. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and leeks to the turkey stock and cook. (The stock should be simmering.)
- When the noodles are al dente, use as strainer to transfer the cooked noodles and turkey meat into the turkey stock and stir to combine.
- Taste the soup and add salt to taste. Stir in parsley and serve.
Add cleaned mushroom stems, leek tops, fennel fronds with the vegetables to improve the stock.