How to Make Turkey Soup Recipe

Author: Jenny J Brown
August 26, 2023

Embarking on the journey of making a delicious turkey soup is not only a culinary delight but also a heartwarming way to savor the flavors of a holiday feast. This recipe transforms leftover turkey into a comforting and nourishing soup, creating a wholesome dish that embodies the spirit of home-cooked goodness. As the kitchen fills with the enticing aroma of simmering broth, tender turkey, and aromatic vegetables, the promise of a hearty and satisfying meal comes to life.

This turkey soup recipe offers a perfect solution for utilizing leftover turkey, turning it into a savory masterpiece that warms the soul on chilly days or provides a soothing remedy when feeling under the weather. Join the culinary adventure as we explore the simple yet magical process of creating a bowl of turkey soup that not only satisfies the taste buds but also brings the essence of warmth and togetherness to every spoonful.

Pressure cookers are ideal for slow-cooking soups and stews because they seal flavor and nutrients, retain moisture, and create tender meat. Here’s how to make your favorite turkey soup recipe with an instant pot.

What is Turkey soup?

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Turkey soup is made from chicken broth, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and garlic. The soup is usually served cold.

Turkey soup is made by boiling meat, vegetables, and spices together for about 1 hour until tender. The main ingredients include beef, lamb, chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, and salt. Turkey soup is served cold and is often eaten at room temperature.

Tools we need

A pressure cooker makes cooking quick and convenient. The Instant Pot is a smart kitchen appliance designed to cook meals automatically at high temperatures and pressures without overcooking or burning ingredients.

This recipe requires no special equipment, so it is perfect for beginners who don’t have much experience preparing food. In addition, it also has a low-calorie count compared to other soups.

How to make turkey soup

This soup can also be prepared using fresh or frozen poultry. If using fresh meat, brown the chopped turkey breast before adding other ingredients. Cook until cooked through. Add vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, green beans, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot.


  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Serving: 6-8 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: tricky
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course
  • calories: 302

Nutrition Information

  • 302
  • 9g
  • FAT
  • 22g
  • 33g


For stock

  • One turkey carcass, preferably with drippings and giblets but excluding the liver, from a previously carved whole turkey.
  • Chilled liquid
  • One yellow onion sliced thinly or chopped in quarters.
  • Roughly sliced carrots: 1 to 2 (can include tops)
  • An assortment of parsley leaves
  • Fresh thyme (1–2 sprigs) or dried thyme (1 teaspoon)
  • Only one bay leaf
  • Some celery leaves and a single celery rib (roughly chopped)
  • Between 5 and 10 peppercorns
  • Fine, kosher salt
  • Black pepper that has recently been ground

In the broth

  • 3–4 quarts of freshly produced turkey stock.
  • Cubed carrots, onions, and celery, equaling 1 to 1 1/2 cups
  • Fresh parsley (2 to 4 tablespoons)
  • Two minced garlic cloves
  • Two teaspoons of poultry seasoning, ground sage, thyme, marjoram, and a bouillon cube (more to taste).
  • 2–4 cups of cooked turkey that has been diced or shredded
  • Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste.
  • Dry rice or egg noodles, 4-8 ounces (optional; skip egg noodles for gluten-free version)


  1. Cooking the Turkey Base Stock
  2. You can use the meat for sandwiches or add it to the soup after the stock has been produced.
  3. Throw the carcass, the veggies, and the drippings into a big pot and cover it with water.
  4. Fill a large stock pot (at least 8 to 12 quarts, depending on the size of the turkey) with cold water until it covers the turkey carcass, neck (if you haven’t roasted it with the turkey), and excess skin and bones by an inch.
  5. Toss in the giblets (excluding the liver) and the leftover drippings from making the gravy. Throw in some celery tips, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, a parsley sprig, some thyme, a thickly sliced onion, some chopped carrots, and some chopped celery.
  6. Heat to boiling, lower heat to a simmer, and remove foam:
  7. Over high heat, bring the stock to a boil; once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. You should periodically check the store as it simmers and remove any frothy debris that rises to the surface.
  8. Season your turkey with salt and pepper: 1 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  9. Boil for a minimum of 4 hours.
  10. Keep the lid off the pot and let it simmer while you remove the foam that rises to the top.
  11. After 4 hours at a low simmer, remove the bones and vegetables and strain the stock. The stock should next be pushed through a fine-mesh filter.
  12. If you’re planning on using the stock for soup later, you might want to reduce it by simmering it longer. This will make the stock more concentrated and more straightforward to store.

The Turkey Soup

In a large pot, melt the butter or olive oil over medium heat. You can use turkey fat that has been extracted from the stock. Mix a quarter of each carrot, onion, and celery (about a cup each). Soften the onions by cooking them for around 10 minutes.

Then, add the garlic, stock, and seasonings, and simmer for an additional minute so the garlic becomes fragrant. Next, pour in the store. Finally, toss in some parsley, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and (optionally) sage, thyme, marjoram, and a bouillon cube.

More cooking time may be required to ensure the vegetables are fully cooked.

Mix in the rice or noodles. Noodles should be cooked for 4 minutes if added. If you’re cooking rice with it, add it in the last 15 minutes.

Take some of the leftover turkey meat you set aside previously and shred it into small pieces. Then, to reheat the turkey, give it another minute in the oven.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Serving: 10 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: tricky
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course
  • Calories: 140

Nutrition Information

140 Calories, 3 1/2g Total Fat, 15g Protein, 13g Total Carbohydrate, 2g Sugars


  • Turkey carcass (around 12 cups) 3 quarts (24 cups) water
  • Salt, one teaspoon
  • Pepper, 1/2 tsp.
  • Spice it up with some sage or poultry seasoning—1/4 teaspoon
  • Bay Leaf, Dried, One
  • A half cup of raw pearl barley
  • Thinly slice three medium-sized carrots (1 1/2 cups).
  • One Cup of Finely Chopped Onions
  • Two cut medium celery stalks (1 cup)
  • 3.0 ounces of cooked turkey, diced
  • Two Tablespoons of Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves


Prepare a 6-quart Dutch oven by breaking up the turkey carcass. Throw in some water, salt, pepper, poultry spice, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Remove the floating residue with a spoon. Take the time to take the meat, bones, and bay leaf out of the broth and let it cool. When the meat has cooled enough to be handled, separate it from the bones and cut it into small pieces. Discard the bay leaf and the bones.

Get rid of the excess fat floating on top of the liquid. Blend in some barley. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to low. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally.

Add 3 cups of cooked turkey and the turkey meat that was removed from the bones and set aside in the pan. Tenderize the veggies and barley by simmering them uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add some chopped parsley and mix.


  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Serving: 10 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: tricky
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course
  • calories: 140


  • Three bay leaves
  • Three teaspoons of thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • Three teaspoons of chopped parsley
  • Two teaspoons of chicken seasoning
  • Two Tablespoons of Salt
  • 1.5 grams of ground ginger
  • The size of an onion (chopped)
  • Five hefty carrots (chopped)
  • Cut celery into four pieces (chopped)
  • a dish of shredded turkey
  • Carrots
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • Ice cubes and 1 cup of cold water


  1. Fill a big kettle with water and add the turkey carcass. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 or 6 hours.
  2. Turkey soup can be made by straining the broth into a dish and saving the bones and flesh for later use.
  3. Return the broth to the cooking vessel. In a saucepan, heat to a simmer and add the dry ingredients, which need to be cooked at a low simmer for 12 to 1 hour.
  4. To get a thicker paste, combine Flour, Ice cubes, and 1 cup of cold water and cook for another minute or two while stirring in a soup.
  5. The food should be tasted and seasoned to your liking.

How to Store the recipe?

Storing your turkey soup properly ensures its freshness and allows you to enjoy its savory goodness over several days. Here’s a guide on how to store the turkey soup:

1. Refrigeration:
Once the turkey soup has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to airtight containers or sealable bags. Refrigerate the soup promptly, ideally within two hours of cooking. Properly stored, turkey soup can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

2. Freezing:
If you plan to store the turkey soup for a more extended period, freezing is a convenient option. Ensure the soup has cooled completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or zip-top freezer bags. Leave some room at the top to allow for expansion. Frozen turkey soup can maintain its quality for 2-3 months.

3. Portioning for Convenience:
Consider dividing the turkey soup into smaller portions before storing it. This allows you to thaw only the amount you need, preventing unnecessary reheating and maintaining the soup’s texture and flavor. Store the soup in single-serving or family-sized portions, depending on your preferences.

4. Labeling and Dating:
To keep track of the storage time and contents, label each container with the date and a brief description of the soup. This practice ensures that you use the oldest soup first and helps you identify the contents in the freezer more easily.

5. Thawing and Reheating:
When ready to enjoy your stored turkey soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, reheat the soup on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Check the soup’s internal temperature to ensure it reaches a safe and enjoyable warmth.

By following these storage guidelines, you can prolong the shelf life of your turkey soup while preserving its delightful flavors. Whether you choose the convenience of refrigeration for short-term use or the longevity of freezing for future meals, proper storage ensures that each spoonful remains a comforting and satisfying experience.

What Did Everyone Think about the recipe?

People chose this recipe as a guideline, especially the spices. Some people said they needed to add some garlic and used egg noodles instead of barley. It was fresh tasting but was missing something. Other than that, a great way to use up the turkey.

The reception of the turkey soup recipe was nothing short of enthusiastic and appreciative. As the delightful aroma wafted through the kitchen, there was a collective anticipation of a comforting and nourishing meal. Those who sampled the soup were unanimous in their praise for its rich and savory flavors. The depth of the broth, achieved by simmering the turkey carcass with a medley of aromatic vegetables and the right blend of herbs and spices, garnered special attention. The tenderness of the leftover turkey pieces added a delightful texture, creating a perfect harmony with the vegetables.

Many commented on the versatility of the soup, with its ability to serve as both a standalone dish and a wonderful accompaniment to other meals. The ease of preparation was also a highlight, making it accessible to both seasoned cooks and those less experienced in the kitchen. One common sentiment echoed among those who tried the turkey soup was its nostalgic appeal, evoking memories of holiday feasts and family gatherings. The customizable nature of the recipe allowed individuals to tailor the soup to their taste preferences, garnering appreciation for its flexibility. Overall, the consensus was clear — the turkey soup recipe was a resounding success, proving that transforming leftovers into a delicious and heartwarming meal can be both simple and deeply satisfying.

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How to Make Turkey Soup Recipe 3

Recipe tips about the recipe

When it comes to perfecting the turkey soup recipe, a few key tips can elevate your culinary experience and ensure a delightful outcome.

Firstly, pay careful attention to the turkey broth. Simmering the turkey carcass with aromatic vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and celery, imparts a rich and flavorful base to the soup. Adding herbs like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves enhances the complexity of the broth. Don’t rush this step; allowing the broth to simmer allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

Incorporating a diverse vegetable medley contributes not only to the soup’s nutritional value but also to its visual appeal. Consider adding seasonal vegetables or those readily available in your kitchen to add vibrancy and freshness.

When seasoning the soup, start conservatively. You can always adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings later in the cooking process. Taste the soup as it simmers, and add seasoning gradually to achieve the perfect balance for your palate.

To maintain the tender texture of the leftover turkey, add it to the soup later in the cooking process. This prevents overcooking and ensures that the turkey pieces remain succulent.

Consider preparing a slightly larger batch of turkey soup than needed. Leftover soup can be conveniently stored in the refrigerator or freezer for future meals, providing a quick and satisfying option for busy days.

Lastly, feel free to get creative and customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Whether it’s experimenting with different herbs, adding a splash of citrus, or incorporating grains like rice or pasta, the recipe’s versatility invites culinary exploration. Ultimately, these tips serve as a guide, allowing you to tailor the turkey soup to your liking and transform it into a signature dish that suits your unique culinary style.

How long does it take to cook?

Cooking takes about 15 minutes per meal. The average person consumes 2,000 calories daily, which equals approximately 20 pounds of food yearly. Assuming that the average person eats three meals daily (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), cooking for one week would require about 120 hours of work.

However, if we double the number of calories consumed daily (for example, 4,000 calories), the cooking time increases to 240 hours.

What can People change with the recipe?

People let the stock simmer for an extra hour to make it healthier before storing it in the fridge for the night.

The next day, they prepared the soup with the leftover turkey and spiced it up with some more ingredients in addition to the poultry seasoning: a can of Italian diced tomatoes, a bay leaf, and 4 tsp of curry. 

At the very end, add some baby greens and no-yolk egg noodles soaked in a quarter cup of cream. An all-time classic that makes an abundance of leftovers for the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an excellent herb to add to soup?

Good herbs to add to soups are parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, dill, chives, fennel, bay leaves, garlic, onion, leeks, celery, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and peppercorns.

Can I use any part of the leftover turkey for the soup?

Absolutely. The beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. You can use any part of the leftover turkey, including the carcass, to create a rich and flavorful broth. Additionally, leftover turkey meat, whether white or dark, adds a delicious texture to the soup.

Can I freeze the turkey soup for later use?

Yes, you can freeze turkey soup for future meals. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers. Freeze in portion-sized batches for convenient thawing and reheating whenever you crave a comforting bowl of turkey soup.

Can I customize the vegetables in the turkey soup?

Absolutely. Feel free to customize the vegetable medley to suit your preferences. Popular choices include carrots, celery, onions, and potatoes, but you can add or omit vegetables based on your taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with seasonal veggies or those you have on hand.

How do I adjust the seasoning to my liking?

Seasoning is a personal touch in this recipe. Please start with the suggested herbs and spices, and taste the soup as it simmers. Add salt, pepper, or additional herbs according to your preference. Remember, it’s easier to add more seasoning later, so start conservatively.

Can I make this turkey soup recipe in advance?

Absolutely. In fact, soups often taste even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld. Prepare the soup, let it cool, and refrigerate it overnight. Reheat before serving, adjusting the seasoning if needed. This make-ahead approach allows for a convenient and delicious meal whenever you’re ready to enjoy it.


Crafting a hearty turkey soup is not just a culinary endeavor but a comforting journey that transforms leftovers into a flavorful masterpiece. The amalgamation of tender turkey, aromatic vegetables, and savory broth creates a bowl of warmth and nourishment. As the enticing aroma fills the kitchen, memories of holiday feasts and shared moments resurface, making each spoonful a reminder of abundance and togetherness. The versatility of this turkey soup recipe allows for personal touches—whether it’s incorporating favorite herbs or adjusting the seasoning to taste. With its simplicity and wholesome appeal, this recipe serves as a delicious solution to making the most of every part of the turkey. As you enjoy this savory bowl, relish the satisfaction of turning leftovers into a culinary triumph that brings joy to the table with every comforting slurp.

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