With a meaty carcass in the fridge, it’s simple to simmer a pot of stock, which can then act as a base for any number of soups. If you aren’t up for making homemade stock, or have been sent home with a bag of leftover turkey and no bones, pick up some chicken stock at the grocery store to make an easy, light, comforting bowl of turkey noodle soup. Use this basic recipe as a canvas and add any ingredients you like – winter root vegetables, potatoes/sweet potatoes, broccoli, shredded cabbage or peas. Of course soup freezes well, so if you’re tired of turkey you can have dinner squirreled away for mealtime emergencies another night.
Egg noodles are classic for soup – if you don’t want them to turn your broth starchy, simmer them separately and then stir them into the finished soup at the end. For a flavor variation, try stirring in a spoonful of curry paste or small handful of chopped fresh sage or basil.
Turkey Noodle Soup
1 cup dry egg noodles or 1/2 cup brown & wild rice
2 L turkey or chicken stock
1 cup chopped leftover turkey (or more, to taste)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the barley, noodles or rice according to package directions; drain well and set aside. (Doing this separately will keep your broth from getting starchy; if you don’t mind, just toss them dry into the simmering stock. You may need to add some extra stock or water.)
Bring the stock to a simmer and add the vegetables, tomato paste, garlic and ginger; cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the noodles or rice and chopped turkey, stir just until heated through. Squeeze in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Serves 4.
Photo credit: istockphoto/martinturzak