Turkey Soup: the old-fashioned way

Posted on Posted in Dinners, Lunches, Soup


I am way late with this advice, but if you were smart and froze your turkey carcass from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, read on. If you didn’t, that’s a shame, but you could learn something from this post for next time you cook a whole turkey, chicken or other fowl.

I’ve written previously about the health benefits of bone broth. It is no mistake that chicken soup is a go-to comfort food when you’re feeling sick. The old-fashioned way of making chicken soup is full of minerals, vitamins, nutrients, and all the good real food stuff to help you recover from your cold or flu. These days folks reach for a can on the shelf at the grocery store – hardly a healthy choice when you are sick.

The following recipe couldn’t be cheaper or better for you if I tried. In fact, I have squeezed every dollar I could from our pastured Christmas turkey we bought at a local farm. On Christmas I added the turkey giblets to a recipe for Grain Free Sausage & Apple Holiday Stuffing.  It was amazing, everyone loved it. I didn’t tell them they ate liver, heart and some other innards until we were wrapping up dinner (mwahahaha!).

If you think that this is just too frugal for you and you don’t like saving money, that is too bad. Turns out there are fancy restaurants all over the country using this nose-to-tail old-fashioned way of eating by adding recipes to their menus that include cheap cuts of meat including organs. AND it is becoming trendy. Lovely!

Also, if you are participating in the 21 Day Sugar Detox in January like I am, this recipe is definitely good for all levels and will give you plenty of food for a week of snacks, lunches, dinners and even breakfasts.


1 turkey carcass (or other fowl)
4 cups homemade bone broth, plus 2-4 cups filtered water
1 TBS butter
1 large shallot (or 2 small ones), chopped
3-4 scallions, chopped (a little extra for topping)
1-2 garlic clove(s), minced
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery slice, sliced
1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 TBS fresh chopped parsley)
Salt and pepper


  1. Melt butter in large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add shallots, scallions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp each). Saute until carmalized.
  3. Add bone broth and scrap up any tiny bits on the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the turkey carcass, vegetables and parsley. If the turkey carcass is sticking more than halfway out of the broth, add water until it is at least halfway covered.
  5. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer.
  6. Simmer on low, covered, for about 3 hours. Stir occasionally.
  7. Here is the tricky part, very carefully, using a fork and tongs, pick out the bones and scrap off any meat. It will be falling apart. Warn your guests and be especially careful if you are feeding this soup to children, make sure there aren’t any bones in their bowl before handing it over!
  8. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped scallions.

I have a confession to make. I had about 1/2 a pound of chuck roast in the freezer that I needed to use, so I cut it up into bite sized pieces, browned in the butter and removed before adding the scallions and shallots. You don’t have to do this, but if you have some I would highly recommend, it was a nice addition to make a hearty soup.


Oh and I’d be happy to hear any other tips for getting all of the bones out of the pot!

DSC06942Turkey soup