Healing Turkey Vegetable Soup
Turkey Vegetable Soup is made from scratch and packed with nutrients. Make a pot (or two!) of this healing soup recipe with Thanksgiving leftovers and your choice of vegetables. Perfect for winter colds or anytime you want an extra boost of vitamins and minerals for whole body health.
Turkey Vegetable Soup
Years ago, our household was laid up on the sofa with an awful flu, and I was not prepared. My husband and I were both too ill to cook anything and had to rely on takeout. It was not a healthy way to heal, and I made a mental note to freeze a massive amount of soup for next time!
Now, I always make a few pots of homemade turkey vegetable soup, which is one of the healthiest and most beneficial soups a person can make. It has special healing properties from every single ingredient — homemade bone broth, shredded poultry, loads of veggies, lentils, quinoa, and dried herbs.
If you’re planning on cooking up this turkey vegetable soup after a turkey dinner, but you’re not sure where to start, check out this guide to How To Cook a Turkey Like a Boss.
Why You Will Love Homemade Turkey Soup
- Incredibly healthy – a healing soup packed with nutrients
- Zero waste – uses every part of the bird
- Make ahead – have some now and freeze the rest for later
- Versatile – swap out any vegetables you have on hand
How To Make Healing Soup
I really enjoy learning about the health benefits of certain foods and why we should include them in our diets. I can also appreciate that nothing goes to waste when it comes to making turkey vegetable soup, even the turkey carcass.
Start with the bone broth
Boiling the bones, fat, and skin makes the deepest and richest broth possible. The longer you let it simmer, the better.
The best bone broth I have ever made was when I boiled the bones for 12 hours! I had to add more water every once in a while, but all the nutrients were incredibly concentrated in the turkey stock.
Choose your vegetables
On top of the bone broth, you have your vegetables — which we all know are good for you. Because they boil in the stock, this homemade turkey soup has even more minerals which makes it that much more healing.
The choice of vegetables is really a personal preference. I love carrots in my soup for added sweetness and because they are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. My son loves corn, so I added some for him, plus some green beans for a bit of color.
The best thing about this old fashioned turkey soup recipe is that it’s versatile. Don’t like the vegetables I used? Don’t use them! You can easily customize the recipe to what works best for your family.
Add some bulk
When I first threw this homemade turkey vegetable soup together, my fridge and pantry were pretty bare! I grabbed some lentils and quinoa (great sources of fiber and protein) to use as “fillers” for the soup. It made this meal wholesome, healthy, and extra filling.
Wild or brown rice would make a great addition as well. Because rice cooks faster, I would suggest preparing it in a separate pot and adding a scoop to each bowl before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions about Old Fashioned Turkey Soup
Why is bone broth so healing?
Boiling bones is incredibly healthy for you.
- It helps heal (and in a sense) “seal” your gut. Digestion is the door to optimal health, and repairing and restoring our digestive system is very important.
- It reduces joint pain from the glucosamine extracted from the cartilage.
- Extracts the magnesium and calcium from the bones of the turkey and replenishes your own body with those minerals.
- It also helps with hair and nail health, fights infections, and reduces inflammation.
Those are just a few of the medicinal qualities that bone broth has — it is very healing. And let’s not forget that the aroma and warmth from the bowl feel just as healing too!
What is the difference between stock and bone broth?
Stock and bone broth are very similar with one main difference — vegetables! Any meat stock (chicken, turkey, or beef) is made by simmering the bones, meat, and a variety of vegetables for several hours. This produces a flavorful liquid base that can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
Bone broth is made by simmering just the meaty bones in water, and the liquid is cooked for much longer. Between the collagen from the bones and the extended cooking time, bone broth is often thicker and more viscous than traditional broth or stock.
Can you freeze homemade turkey vegetable soup?
Absolutely! In fact, that’s typically what I do when I make a big batch of this old fashioned turkey soup. I love to keep individual and family-size servings on hand for whenever an illness makes its way through the house.
Once prepared, divide your homemade turkey soup into freezer-safe containers and allow it to cool. Be sure to leave about an inch of room at the top of each container — liquid expands when frozen, and you don’t want your containers to burst!
Store turkey vegetable soup in the freezer for 4 to 6 months, then thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Simmer on the stove until warmed through.
More Homemade Soup Recipes:
Turkey Vegetable Soup
- 1 turkey carcass bones, skin, drumsticks, etc
- 8 cups water enough to cover the turkey parts
- 1 onion sliced in half
- 3-4 carrots diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- chicken base to taste (you can also use boullion)
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 cup green beans
- 1/4 cup lentils
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- For The Bone Broth:
- Break apart your turkey carcass and place in soup pot (I had to use two). We don’t eat dark meat, so I added the drumsticks in there as well. Fill with water. Chop an onion in half and add that if desired. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and let it do it’s thing for a few hours (the longer the better) This time I did mine for roughly 12 hours, but in the past I have done a total of 24 (boiled for half a day, cooled and put in the fridge and then boiled the next). You may have to keep adding water.
- Strain the broth and set aside. Pick through the meat and add to the broth.
- For The Soup:
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pan (with the turkey meat and broth). You may have to add more water. The amount of bouillon is really up to you, as every batch needs a different amount. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Simmer for at least an hour.
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