This fabulous turkey soup with homemade broth honors my grandmother’s memory and repurposes Thanksgiving leftovers.

I became interested in cooking and baking thanks to my grandmother, Frances.  She greatly influenced me, and I learned so much from watching her and helping her cook and bake the most delicious recipes. She did not waste any food; leftovers from prepared meals went into soups, stews, sauces, and any other creative dish that grandmother made. 

Food waste is an increasingly serious problem in this era, and inflation and supply chain issues have driven grocery prices up tremendously.  It is the perfect time to implement some of my grandmother’s creative cooking methods to make leftovers an economical, delicious, and nutrient-rich dish.  

I created this fabulous turkey broth using our leftover roasted Thanksgiving turkey, just as my grandmother did.  Using the carcass, skin, and tidbits of meat still attached to the bones, I was able to elevate this flavorful broth into a hearty and delicious turkey soup. Homemade broth is easy to make and can be used in recipes the same way you would use boxed broth purchased at the grocery store. You can use this same method with leftover chicken as well. 

This soup makes a big batch, which can be frozen for 3-6 months to be preserved for future lunches/dinners when you may not have the time to cook.  Pair it with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich and a green salad, and you have created an excellent meal.


  • Roasted turkey or chicken carcass, including any skin and meat that is still attached to the bones. Our turkey was 15 pounds.
  • Water, enough to cover the meat and bones in the pot
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 2 large carrots, washed and diced
  • 4 stalks of celery with leaves, washed and chopped into 1/8 to 1/4 pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large onion, chopped
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • I used fresh snips of rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and oregano from my garden. If you do not have fresh herbs, you can start with 1/2 tsp each of dried herb varieties or leave them out altogether.
Turkey Soup with Homemade Broth
Turkey Soup with Homemade Broth
  1. In a 5 1/2 – 6 quart pot, simmer the roasted turkey/chicken and parts in water and wine that covers most of the bones for an hour. I had to break up the carcass in order for it to fit in the pot.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Cool, strain, and remove fat. Save any of the meat for the turkey soup.

I used the entire turkey broth to create soup. I sauteed the vegetables below in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and added it all to the broth along with the shredded turkey meat:

    • 2 chopped carrots
    • 2 celery sticks 
    • 2 minced cloves of garlic
    • Ground salt and pepper, to taste
    • Egg noodles: I cook these separately and serve them on the side. If left in frozen turkey soup, the noodles will get mushy when unthawing. Fresh is always better.

Simmer altogether for about a half hour, adding any additional seasoning of your choice. Enjoy!

I put the turkey soup in 2-quart containers and freeze. Defrost soup in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use.

Yvonne Dwyer OPL Master Naturalist and OPL Content Contributor

Recipe compliments of OPL Master Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

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