Turkey Noodle Soup

As far back as I can remember, I can recall my parents using the leftover turkey to make a turkey soup each year after Thanksgiving. I never got a recipe or anything from them, but it just seemed like the customary thing to do, and I’ve continued the tradition with my own family. Through the years I just sort of created my own technique and recipe, so if there’s a faster or easier way to do any of this, by all means be my guest!

After all those heavy Thanksgiving dishes, this soup seems like the perfect alternative leftover. It’s light and flavorful, but the ingredients and herbs still have strong ties to the holiday season. I just got done making this today, and my daughter has already had 3 bowls!


  • leftover turkey carcass, with most of the meat cut off
  • about 7 liters water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I use Old Bay)
  • 12 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles
Cut all the meat off your turkey. Place leftover bone pieces in a large stockpot. 
Fill the pot with water, enough to cover all the bones.
We had a 15 pound turkey, and I used about 7 liters of water to cover it.
Pour in about 2 tablespoons of salt, and cover. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and continue to simmer, covered, for about 8 hours. 
After about 8-9 hours, all the little pieces of meat, fat, and skin will have fallen off the bone.
Turn off the stove, and let the turkey and broth cool for 1-2 hours.
Once cooled, place a strainer in a large bowl, and carefully pour the stockpot into the strainer, slowly.
Keep the bowl of broth, leave in the bowl and let cool. Clean and dry your stockpot. 
While broth is cooling, empty the turkey pieces out of the strainer one by one.
Toss the bones in a bowl to discard.
Once the meat is off the bone, shred the pieces by hand, and drop back into the stockpot.
Mine still had a good amount of meat, it doesn’t look like it but my pot was 1/3 full of shredded turkey.
By this point the broth should be cooled down and the fat should have risen to the top.
Get a flat spoon and remove the filmy top layer that has formed.
Then spoon the broth with a ladle through a mesh strainer over the shredded turkey.
This will ensure you won’t have any tiny bones that get into your soup.
Once the broth is in the pot with the shredded turkey, turn the heat back on the stove and cook, uncovered, on high. Bringing the soup to a boil.
While the pot is warming up, chop up your onion.
First quarter it, then cut it into slices. Drop the slices into the soup.
Mince the garlic, and drop that in too. 
Now halve (or quarter) the carrots, then slice them. Drop them into the soup.
Halve, then slice the celery. Add it to the soup.
Chop up the parsley, then add to the soup.
By now the broth should be boiling or almost boiling. Add the seasonings. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and lower the heat to simmer for about 2 hours, until vegetables are soft.
Once the broth has had a chance to simmer with the seasonings, add in the uncooked egg noodles.
Once again turn it back up to boil, then simmer and cover for about 20 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, the noodles should be soft but not overcooked.
Remove from heat, cool, then serve.
Perfectly paired with saltines and a glass of wine. Enjoy!


  1. says

    You’re right. This does look and sound like a great light alternative to a day-after Thanksgiving meal. I agree too – I would have never thought to add a glass of wine to it. Great pairing. Thank you.


  2. says

    I cook my chicken/turkey soup the same way.. but I have never thought to boil the bones. Why hadn’t I thought of this? lol. Thanks for the idea. I love coming to your blog, it always gives me inspiration! :)

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