Leftovers Turkey Soup

Playing with FoodJust as we all have our own traditional Christmas lunches, so we all have our traditions as to what to do with the leftovers, especially if turkey is the roast. In my family, using up the leftovers is as eagerly enjoyed as the Christmas lunch itself. While some people relish a cold turkey sandwich, and others a turkey curry, our favourite is cold turkey and ham with fried up leftover veg and various pickles. But one other of our traditions is the turkey soup. Before their passing, my grandparents would spend Christmas Day with us and would leave with their presents and the turkey carcass in tow, the latter to be used by my grandmother to make turkey soup, which she would freeze for us to enjoy next time we saw her. In the last few years my father took on the duty, but this year the task has been mine. This is a great soup and I often use the recipe with leftover chicken, too; I can also see no reason why it wouldn’t work well for other fowl and poultry. I hope you give it a go and enjoy it. As you can see, it’s very simple and you can customise it in a number of ways to suit your taste.

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  • Leftover roast turkey carcass
  • Leftover cooked vegetables, chopped (optional)
  • Leftover stuffing (optional)
  • Leftover gravy
  • 2 largish onions, diced
  • Celery, chopped (optional)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Extra raw vegetables (parsnips, carrots etc.), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • Chicken stock/water
  • 1-2 glasses of white wine (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Other herbs of your choice (parsley, sage etc.)
  • 2 dessertspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of gravy browning
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Serves 12-16

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Strip the turkey carcass of as much meat as you can. Put the meat and the carcass to one side to use in the soup.

In a heavy-based saucepan/casserole dish heat some oil and then sweat the chopped onion and garlic with salt and pepper for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.

When the onion is soft add any raw vegetables, celery and herbs that you are using and mix them in and allow to cook for a few minutes; then turn down the heat.Soup before adding stock

Put the turkey carcass into the middle of the pot (break it up if it won’t fit in the pot in one piece) and push it down. Add the leftover cooked vegetables, the turkey meat, stuffing and leftover gravy.

Next add enough chicken stock and/or water and the wine if using, to cover everything and then turn the heat up to bring the soup to the boil. Once boiling reduce the heat so that the soup simmers gently. Leave it to cook for as long as you want but for at least 3 hours; I’d recommend 3-5 hours. Every so often stir the soup.

Once you have finished cooking the soup add the Dijon mustard, gravy browning and the Worcestershire Sauce and stir in. Leave the soup to cool.

Once cooled remove the fat on the top and the carcass. The carcass will have broken into lots of pieces and I’d suggest removing it by hand so you can pick the remaining meat off it and add it to the soup.