What are you planning to do with that turkey carcass tomorrow night? Assuming that your Thanksgiving turkey is well-seasoned before roasting, all you’ll need is water, some cut up vegetables, leftover turkey meat, and some cooked noodles to make an amazing turkey noodle soup.

This recipe will produce a lot of soup, so be sure you have plenty of storage containers!

First, you’ll need to prepare your turkey for roasting. Here is how it’s done at our house:

  1. Rinse the inside and outside of the turkey with cold water. Pat dry.
  2. Rub canola oil over the skin of the turkey. Season sparingly with salt and liberally with pepper, parsley, and thyme.
  3. Sprinkle coarsely chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic (lots of it), and apples (both green Granny Smith and red Macintosh, Jonagold, or whatever you’ve got) around the base of the turkey in the roasting pan. (Dice additional vegetables and apples — 2 cups of each and 5-6 cloves of minced garlic — and save it for when you make your soup later.)
  4. Pour 2-3 cups of apple cider into the roasting pan to form the basis of your basting liquid (The cider-based pan drippings and chopped vegetables should earn a place next to traditional giblet gravy on your table!)


Once the family retires, belly up, to the couch to watch some football:

  1. Remove any leftover meat from the carcass and save it for tomorrow’s leftovers. Reserve at least 4 cups of turkey meat, cubed or shredded, for the turkey soup and refrigerate.
  2. Place the carcass in a large stockpot and completely cover it with cold water. Add any leftover roasted vegetables and juices you haven’t eaten to the stockpot. (Also add the neck and gizzard, leftover turkey skin, corn, celery leaves and stumps, carrot-tops, onionskins, and apple cores to the boiling water.)
  3. Add 1-2 cups of apple cider.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for an hour or two. (Or at least until the kitchen is cleaned and dessert has been served.)
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the stockpot to cool for a few minutes. Remove as many of the bones and vegetables as you can with a slotted spoon or tongs and discard them. Remove the rest of the solid parts by pouring the liquid broth through a strainer into another stockpot or large soup pot.
  6. Return the stockpot with the turkey broth back to the stove. Add the fresh vegetables and apples you diced and saved earlier. Bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour.
  7. Turn off heat and allow soup to cool enough to refrigerate. Combine the reserved turkey meat with the soup before refrigerating or freezing.


When you are ready to eat this soup, add your favorite cooked egg noodle or pasta. A great hot meal for a cold winter day, it also cuts through the congestion of a common cold and flu!