What's the secret to really good soup? The stock, of course. There's no substitute for fragrant, long-simmered homemade broth made from a leftover holiday bird (or an every-day bird, for that matter). It seemed silly to give measurements here, for turkey soup is a feel-as-you-go kind of thing, a preparation that comes more from the heart than the head. No two batches are alike, nor should they be; vary the flavorings and vegetables as you will.
The flavor of the soup improves even more if you let it cool down (or chill it overnight) and reheat it before serving. However, don’t add and cook the noodles until just before serving, or they’ll absorb too much of the liquid as the soup cools down.
Break up turkey carcass and place it in a large stock pot with remaining broth ingredients. Cover with cold water and bring to a very slow simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; slowly simmer stock, without letting it boil, several hours. Strain through cheesecloth or paper towels into a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat a little butter in a soup pot. Add chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Cook over medium heat a few minutes. Stir in herbs and other vegetables, if using.
Skim congealed fat from surface of chilled broth. Pour broth into soup pot, add chopped turkey meat, and bring to slow simmer. Cook gently until vegetables are very tender, 15-20 minutes.
Add noodles and cook until tender. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Copyright by Terese Allen