Suit-Yourself Soup

Thanksgiving dinner is over in hours, but the leftovers linger for days. Here's my unorthodox suggestion: Deal with the turkey's remains directly after your holiday meal. You're already staying up to wash dishes and drink the odds and ends of leftover wine — why not get some soup made in the process?

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours


    1 turkey carcass, meat removed
    1 onion, peeled and quartered
    1 large carrot and 1 large celery stalk, both sliced
    Celery leaves
    2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Begin by removing all remaining joints and meat from the turkey and reserving these for another use. Place the carcass in a large pot, along with the wing tips and any bones that accumulated during the meal. Add water just to cover, then bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, and simmer.
  2. If your mother-in-law will be eating the soup, spend the next half hour skimming any foam that rises to the surface, since this will "cloud the broth," God forbid. Otherwise, you can go ahead and add the following now: onion, carrot, celery, parsley, celery leaves and salt. (I also add the veggies that roasted inside the bird.)
  3. Gently simmer soup, covered, adding water as needed to keep the turkey submerged, for 3 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot, and serve, refrigerate, or freeze as you wish. When you're ready to eat the soup, season with more salt to taste, and add one or more of the following, depending on your children's preferences:
    • Matzoh balls
    • Dumplings
    • Cooked rice or noodles
    • Wontons or tortellini
    • Small pasta, such as orzo, alphabets, or pastina
    • Shapes cut with an aspic cutter from steamed carrot slices (a good job for a child)
    • Bite-size pieces of turkey

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