On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans give thanks for their general blessings by celebrating Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday where a bounty of wonderful homemade recipes are created to share with family and friends. Thanksgiving Day was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Turkey eventually became the most popular offering on this holiday and usually, there are many leftovers.
Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup is a very easy and nutritional recipe to make. By adding the turkey carcass and some fresh veggies into a giant soup pot, we can make a very flavorful condensed turkey stock. Then, by adding the leftover turkey, a few noodles and some fresh veggies and herbs, we can enjoy this healthy, comforting soup on a cold winters day.
As always, please read my Chef's notes and tips at the end of the recipe for freezing and using this stock in future recipes. This method can also be applied for making chicken stock.
You will need a large deep pot.
1 turkey carcass with some meat still attached
4 ribs of celery, divided
3 large carrots, divided
1 large yellow onion, plus 1 small
2 bay leaves
4 cups of cooked, leftover turkey, chopped
8 oz. (approximately) thin dried spaghetti, broken
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
Salt and pepper to taste
Muslin cloth, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Place the turkey carcass on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and roast for approximately 30 minutes. By doing this, the stock will have more flavor.
2. Wash the celery, carrots and onion (leave the skin on the onion.) Place the turkey carcass into the pot. Cut 2 ribs of celery and 2 carrots into large chunks and quarter the onion (dice the remaining celery, carrots and the small onion for the soup later and set aside) place these into the pot along with the bay leaves. Cover with water to within 2 inches from the top of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours or more.
3. Next, remove the lid from the pot and raise the heat to high. Boil, uncovered, for 1 hour. You may want to open the window during this process. By boiling the stock uncovered and reducing it down, is how we end up with a condensed stock that we can dilute in later recipes and save money.
4. Please note: If your pot is large and you are small like me, ask for help lifting your pot - maybe a strong man would be helpful! Remove the carcass and then strain the whole pot of stock through a small-holed sieve into another large pan, discarding the carcass and the other ingredients. Do this in stages if you have a small sieve. I use muslin cloth to line my strainer - however, this is optional.
5. Now you can make your soup by using as much of the broth as you want for your family size. Cook the celery, carrots and onion in a skillet with a little oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper over a medium low heat, for approximately 7 minutes.
6. Raise the heat under the stock to medium and add the celery, carrots, thyme, parsley and spaghetti. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is al-dente (firm to the bite.)
Serve in a big bowl with some toasted crusty bread and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if you wish. It's really yummy. Enjoy!
Chef's Notes and Tips
After you have made the stock, refrigerate for 24 hours. You will find it will look like jelly. This is the concentrated stock we just made. Before freezing, divide the stock into either well sealed containers or plastic bags.
The ratio for diluting the stock for future use depends on you. My rule of thumb is one cup of condensed stock and 3 cups of water. So when portioning the stock for the freezer, think how much you would make for your family.
For example: If you are single, freeze 1 cup of condensed stock for one serving. 1 cup condensed stock + 3 cups of water is a good serving for one person.
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