The Frugal Café | Photo credit: 

Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Homemade Cream of Turkey Soup... Don't Waste That Carcass!

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


Leftover turkey is both a blessing and a curse. So much flavorful meat, so much to use up after a holiday dinner. And then there's that gigantic turkey carcass that's hogging valuable space in the fridge or freezer. It can be daunting.

But despite your temptation, do NOT throw out the carcass. One or two meals can be made from it.

I've mentioned many times my love for soup — not just the pleasure I get out of making and eating it, but how thrift-minded and nutrition-packed it is during these beleaguered economic times.

Here's a decadently delicious cream of turkey soup, using the carcass of the turkey, plus the turkey giblets and neck. Frugalicious!

Simmering the turkey carcass for a few hours extracts all the rich, tasty goodness still in the bird's bones. Hearty peasant food fit for royalty, in my opinion.

This homemade cream of turkey is exceptionally kind to the pocketbook, and the kids will be clamoring for seconds. This recipe is also salt-free... if you want to add a bit of salt, do so at the end of the cooking process.


Cream of turkey soup is easy and cheap to make, and efficiently uses that gigantic leftover turkey carcass after a holiday dinner

Cream of turkey soup is easy and cheap to make, and efficiently uses that gigantic leftover turkey carcass after a holiday dinner 


Homemade Cream of Turkey Soup


Sauté the leeks, pepper, and celery in the butter or margarine in a large kettle, soup pot, or stock pot until golden. Stir in the flour and brown lightly, stirring constantly.

Add the chicken broth, turkey carcass, neck, and giblets. Bring to just boiling, then immediately lower the heat; cover the kettle/stock pot.

Simmer gently for 2 hours or until the mixture is rich in flavor. After 2 hours, turn off the heat under the pot and allow the carcass to rest in the liquid until cool enough to handle.

Strain the liquid in the kettle into a large saucepan and remove all turkey meat from the bones before discarding the bones. Dice any tidbits of meat and put to the side. Whether you include or remove the cooked giblets in the soup is your own choice. If you include the giblets, dice them once they are cool enough to handle. Be sure to remove all the meat from the neck — there is usually ample turkey meat on a turkey neck, so don't waste it.

Beat the evaporated milk and egg yolks together in a large bowl with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended; beat in about 2 cups of the hot broth; return to the saucepan.

Heat gently, stirring often, just until hot; taste and season with salt and pepper; add the diced meat, stir once or twice, then serve.

If desired, a bit of any grated cheese on top of each serving is delicious, or add a few sprigs of fresh parsley or a dusting of paprika to " dress it up."

Serve the soup with your choice of toast, croutons, garlic bread, biscuits, or a fresh mixed salad — a cheap, complete meal!

Serves 6 to 8.



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Source: Family Circle's Perfect Poultry, Times Books, NY, NY, 1985.