Turkey leftovers…….after a big Thanksgiving dinner, they seem to haunt you for days on end. In the immediate aftermath of the turkey coma sandwiches filled with turkey, stuffing, and gravy are on the menu. Next you might simply reheat the original meal but after that what do you do with your mounds of turkey? In reality, the possibilities are endless.
So what do you make when you’ve eaten just about all of the turkey and you’re left with scraps of meat and bones? You make soup. Its easy and the best way to finish up the last bit of the bird. This soup is more of a method than an exact recipe. If you are short on time or don’t have the turkey carcass, you can use pre-made broth. But if you still have the bones, don’t throw them out; use them to make a flavorful broth and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
TURKEY PASTA SOUP
1 turkey carcass
5 bay leaves, divided
1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns
2 large carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked turkey, cut into bite sized pieces
8 ounces small pasta of your choice
- Remove any excess fat or skin from the turkey carcass and place in a large stockpot. Add four bay leaves and the peppercorns.
- Cover the turkey bones with water (the amount of water will depend upon the amount of bones and the size of your pot). Turn the stove to high and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, cover the pot and reduce the temperature to allow for a continuous low simmer. Continue to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You should have a flavorful broth.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Remove the turkey bones from the pot and discard. Strain the liquid into a large soup pot to remove any remaining solids and return the liquid to the stove set over medium-high heat.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, remaining bay leaf, salt, pepper, and cooked turkey. Simmer covered for 1/2 hour.
- Adjust the seasonings and add in the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes depending upon the size of your pasta.
If you are looking for further turkey inspiration, check out the following:
- Chipolte Turkey and Corn Soup
- Turkey Bolognese Pasta
- Curried Turkey & Couscous Salad w/ Dried Cranberries
- Turkey Croquettes