Knowing we would finally be having some cooler temperatures (hey, don’t knock me..I’m from the Pacific NW..I like the rain and cooler days), I decided to take out a turkey to thaw several days ago. (One a side note, STOCK UP on turkeys at Thanksgiving time! I got the turkey I cooked yesterday for about 39 cents a pound! I challenge you to find any other meat that cheap!)
We enjoyed a delicious August Thanksgiving , and had TONS of turkey left-over. After freezing up multiple dinner’s worth and saving out some turkey for sandwiches this week, I still had a lot of leftovers. So, after picking all of the meat off the bones, I put the bones, and most of the carcass into a stockpot full of water, and let it simmer.
Step 1: Take all of the larger bones from your turkey, and the larger “frame” if you will, and put it all into a stockpot full of water. Turn your burner on low, and simply let it simmer for several hours. Making stock is really just that easy. I didn’t even put any seasoning into the pot during this step.
Step 2: After several hours, or after your stock is a nice pale yellow, you will want to strain it. I set my colander up over another stock pot. Once you strain your broth/stock initially to catch the bones, you may want to strain it again through a finer colander.
Step 3: Add seasoning. If you are the type of cook who needs exact measurements, you may become frustrated with me…Unless I’m baking, I don’t usually measure things. I can and will try to approximate for you. You will want a generous amount of salt. It is always best to add a little at a time however, tasting after each addition. (It is much easier to make something more salty, than it is to make it less salty!) Just taste as you go, adding salt until your broth suits your palate. I also added poultry seasoning, parsley, and sage. ( To save money on spices, NEVER buy them in the spice aisle! You can expect to pay around $4+ for a jar of spice in the spice aisle of your supermarket. Instead, buy some inexpensive plastic or glass jars/containers, and buy your spices in bulk! You can get a HUGE bag of spice for about $.50! Just make sure to label your jars at home!)
Step 4: Add your turkey. I used a combination of light and dark meat, and just chunked it up into bite-sized pieces.
Step 5: Add your veggies. I made my turkey noodle soup very simple this time, and only added carrots. I simply cut several large handfuls of baby carrots in half lengthwise, and threw them in the pot. You could also add diced celery and onion to this soup.
Step 6: Let your soup simmer on low to medium low until your carrots are fork tender.
Step 7: Add your pasta. I used mini bow-tie (farfalle) pasta in my soup. You could also use egg noodles, or any other small shaped pasta. You want to wait until the end to add your pasta however, as you don’t want your noodles to plump too much. Another tip is to make sure to simply add your dry noodles right to the soup pot. Don’t cook them in a separate pan and and then add them! The noodles soak up the rich broth and have a much better flavor when cooked right in the soup!
Step 8: You can either eat your soup when your noodles have finished cooking, or put your soup in the refrigerator for dinner the next day. If your soup is allowed to sit, it typically can become a bit thicker and richer. This soup also freezes extremely well, and once cooled, can be put into several freezable containers for meals on another busy day.
Enjoy this delicious soup! Homemade soup IS accessible and something ANYONE can make! It is super cheap and makes a TON! Happy cooking!