Nada’s Turkey Soup from Scratch

from Almost a Full Moon

My kids roll their eyes when I insist on saving the carcass from the turkey (or any other poultry) but they change their tune pretty quickly while enjoying the soup later in the week. The fun thing with this recipe is that you can change it up depending on what you have in the fridge or pantry, like different vegetables and starches. Rice, pasta, lentils or potatoes give the soup a heartiness you want while the vegetables provide an additional dose of nutrition. For this recipe, I’ve included the ingredients mentioned in Hawksley Workman’s book “Almost a Full Moon” in our Canadians + Food section. Pair the soup with a big hunk of homemade bread and your meal is served!


1 turkey carcass (remove as much of the meat as you can)

12 cups chicken stock or broth – adjust to cover the carcass

2 onions, diced

2 celery sticks & leaves, chopped

2 carrots, chopped 

4 garlic cloves

3 bay leaves

Salt, to taste 

3-4 peppercorns (adjust to taste)

½ pumpkin (or squash, sweet potato), cubed

4 potatoes, cubed

3 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped


Remove all of the meat from the bones from the carcass and place in a container. Break the turkey carcass apart at the joints where you can, in order to be able to fit it into the soup pot. 

Place the turkey pieces into a large stock pot. Add the stock, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-4 hours until the turkey bones are starting to break down, the meat is falling off the bone and the broth is looking nicely colored. Skim any foam from the pot during the cooking time.

Remove the carcass from the soup pot carefully and pull any remaining meat off the bones. Skim the soup to ensure there are no bones left in the pot.

Add in the rest of the soup ingredients and cook until the vegetables are cooked completely. Add the chopped parsley and serve.

Hint: If you want to eliminate some of the fat from the soup, remove the carcass and cool the soup in the fridge until the fat gels at the top (a few hours or overnight). Scoop out the fat and continue cooking with the vegetables.

Contents and images used with permission by Canadian Cookbooks.