Requires overnight step · Slow Cooker · Soup & Broth

Turkey Noodle Soup 

Turkey Noodle Soup

Last week was Thanksgiving. We had such an incredible turkey! The gravy was divine. You might think a turkey is a turkey is a turkey, but you’d be wrong. You just can’t beat a fresh, local bird! I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving turkey every year for twenty years, and I usually worry that there won’t be enough gravy. The last two years, our turkeys have been from McEnroe Organic Farm in Millerton, NY. Deliciously tender and moist, and with loads of drippings perfect for Homemade Brown Gravy. All that, and hardly any fat! If you can’t get to Millerton next year, do make a few phone calls to see if you can find a local farmer to get your turkey from. You won’t be sorry!

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Wherever you bought your turkey, you haven’t already thrown away your turkey carcass, have you? I hope not! There’s another whole meal right there, even if you’ve picked the bones pretty bare. I love the idea of making a whole, delicious meal from what some would consider trash. Waste not, want not, right?

I make a light stock from the turkey neck while the bird is in the oven, then use the stock for making the stuffing. When the stock is done, I toss the neck into my slow cooker with some seasonings and veggies to keep it warm while we eat. After dinner, the turkey gets picked over for chunks to use in Turkey-Pea Alfredo, then the carcass gets broken up and added to the slow cooker. All during pie, sleep, and breakfast, the house smells divinely of soup. We’ll either have it for lunch or for dinner later in the week. Another nice benefit of using the carcass this way is that it will take up so much less room in your garbage can. If you don’t use the neck, pop it in the fridge while you eat and add it to the crockpot with the carcass. 

The amount of noodles is going to be different with every batch, so I just wing it. I’ve learned that it’s easy to over-estimate the noodles, so unless you have an experienced eye, go with a bit less than you think you need. 

You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Word nerd fun fact: According to Merriam-Webster, the first known usage of the word “carcass” was in the fourteenth century. Another word first used back then: gravy! 

Ingredients:

1 turkey neck (optional)

1 picked-over turkey carcass

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 T whole peppercorns

1 bay leaf

3 stalks celery, divided

3 large carrots, divided

water

noodles

Preparation:

1.) Place the neck, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, the seasonings, and about two cups of water in the slow cooker. Set it to low while you roast and serve the turkey.

1 tns.jpg

2.) When you’re done carving the turkey, break the carcass down into smaller pieces. Add them to the slow cooker (skin and all) along with more water to just cover everything, or as close as you can get to that without overfilling. Mine is a bit overfull, less would be safer. Cook on low overnight. I set my cooker for 20 hours, its maximum. That gives me plenty of time to sleep in and have my coffee before dealing with the soup.

2 tns

3.) The next day, pluck out and discard the bones. They should be pretty bare.

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4.) Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pot. Empty the solids into a large bowl.

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5.) You can separate the fat now with a fat separator, or later with a spoon. When an excellent broth is refrigerated, it becomes semi-solid, like Jello. Then it’s easy to skim the fat off the top with a spoon. This fantastic turkey had hardly any fat! You can barely see it at the top of the cup. Isn’t that broth gorgeous?

6.) When the solids have cooled enough to handle, pick through them for the larger chunks of meat. I ended up with about four times what the picture shows for the soup and some smaller shreds I gave to the dog. Refrigerate the turkey meat to add back into the soup later unless you’re planning to serve right away.

7.) When you’re ready to eat, bring the soup to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. The broth often tastes watery at first because it takes a lot of water to properly submerge the turkey in the slow cooker. Let it boil down until it tastes right. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. While the noodles cook, chop the remaining carrot and celery into small pieces. About halfway through the noodle cook time, add the reserved meat and the chopped vegetables.

7 tns

 

Thingamabob Food


Ingredients


1 turkey neck (optional)
1 picked-over turkey carcass
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 T whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery, divided
3 large carrots, divided
water
noodles

Directions


1.) Place the neck, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, the seasonings, and about two cups of water in the slow cooker. Set it to low while you roast and serve the turkey.
2.) When you’re done carving the turkey, break the carcass down into smaller pieces. Add them to the slow cooker (skin and all) along with more water to just cover everything, or as close as you can get to that without overfilling. Cook on low overnight.
3.) The next day, pluck out and discard the bones. They should be pretty bare.
4.) Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pot. Empty the solids into a large bowl.
5.) You can separate the fat now with a fat separator, or later with a spoon. When an excellent broth is refrigerated, it becomes semi-solid, like Jello. Then it’s easy to skim the fat off the top with a spoon.
6.) When the solids have cooled enough to handle, pick through them for the larger chunks of meat. Refrigerate the turkey meat to add back into the soup later, unless you’re planning to serve right away.
7.) When you’re ready to eat, bring the soup to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. The broth often tastes watery at first because it takes a lot of water to properly submerge the turkey in the slow cooker. Let it boil down until it tastes right. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions. While the noodles cook, chop the remaining carrot and celery into small pieces. About halfway through the noodle cook time, add the reserved meat and the chopped vegetables.

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