How to Make Turkey Carcass Soup

by Lesley Barker ; Updated August 31, 2017

Don't throw out the bones of your holiday turkey. They make the best base for a delicious soup that will extend your grocery budget for many meals. You do need a large pot to start with and it takes a while to make this soup, but it freezes well and serves a lot of people.

Remove any leftover stuffing from the turkey carcass and take off any plastic or metal pieces that may have held the legs together while roasting the bird. Place the entire carcass into a large stock pot. Cover the bones with water.

Peel one large onion. Scrape two carrots. Peel a clove of garlic. Strip off the outer celery stalks. Cut off the celery leaves. Add the leaves and the heart of the celery with the other vegetables and the kosher salt to the pot.

Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours.

Allow the stock to cool. Strain and place the liquid into a soup pot. Remove the bones and any meat that has fallen off the bones while cooking. Place them in a large bowl. Separate the bones from the meat and throw out the bones. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and save them for later.

Peel and chop one large onion. Chop the remaining celery and peel and dice one clove of garlic. Add these vegetables to the liquid in the soup pot. Add the can of navy beans, the can of diced tomatoes, the basil, thyme, and vermouth. Bring the soup to a boil. Then lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for a half hour. Toss in a cup of cooked rice and stir.

Serve piping hot with crusty home made bread and a lettuce salad.


  • Freeze the leftovers in quart-sized freezer containers. Label them with the date.

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About the Author

Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.