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After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

As much as my family loves the holidays, they look forward to this creamy leftover Thanksgiving soup even more. It makes a big batch that we can enjoy for days. —Valorie Walker, Bradley, South Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 2-1/2 hours + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings (about 4 quarts)


  • 1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 12- to 14-pound turkey)
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Place turkey carcass in a soup kettle or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove carcass; cool. Set aside 3 qt. broth. Remove turkey from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside.
  • In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add cream, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.

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  • Jody
    Dec 29, 2019

    Best soup ever. If I haven't roasted a turkey I've been known to use a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast just so I can make it. A big hit with the family!

  • Deb
    Nov 24, 2018

    Excellent turkey soup!!! I’ve been looking for a good after Thanksgiving turkey soup, and this is it!!! Very tasty and worth the effort although was not difficult to make. Would definitely recommend!!

  • Tina
    Oct 11, 2017

    I made this soup last night and it was delicious, but I did modify it -thanks to my boyfriend's mom!! :) I'm learning that the key to a good soup is minimizing the fat from the meat. The fat changes the flavor in a soup and not in a good way. So, I place my turkey carcass in a crock-pot covered in water (just 1/2 inch) on low heat for a minimum 24 hrs. adding more water as needed to keep the bones covered in water. Strain bones/meat from the broth and debone meat setting it aside in the refrigerator. Put broth in a large bowl and set aside on the counter to come to room temperature. Cover broth and chill overnight - this will help the fat to come to the surface. In the morning, use a strainer to skim the fat off the top and discard. The broth is now ready to make soup. I used 1/2 cup butter, 1 medium onion, and added 1 tsp. minced garlic, 4 large carrots, 4 celery ribs, and 1/2 small pkg. of mushrooms. Since there's enough salt in the bouillon, I did not add any salt. I did add 1 tsp. each of thyme and parsley, as well as 1 bay leaf. So super yummy!!

  • katecrid47
    Dec 6, 2016

    I made this yesterday. It was fantastic. So glad it's a big batch! I cooked it a little longer.....I had rice tenderness issues. The flavor was great and the whole family loved it. Very creamy! thanks for sharing

  • stanbob
    Dec 26, 2015

    Wonderful soup, on a whim as I was adding the last ingredients to the pot I added a teaspoon of thyme, Mmmmm.

  • richcxx
    Nov 23, 2014

    This has become my annual Black Friday tradition. My daughter starts asking in July if I'm making it! I think it's even better a couple days later. I don't change anything, prepare it just as it says and it is a big hit every year.

  • TexasR
    Feb 27, 2014

    This is the best recipe for that left over turkey carcass. Total comfort food. The only thing I do different is use a 1/2 cup of flour and it's still plenty thick enough for us.

  • tstreich
    Apr 14, 2013

    Yum!!! This was such a wonderful comfort food, I'll make turkey's year round just to make this again. I did use about 2 Tbsp of chicken bouillon and that seemed just right. I froze the excess of turkey and broth (separately) so I can make another batch or half a batch later, but I think already made, this soup would probably freeze well.

  • Pinkytexas
    Mar 26, 2013

    No comment left

  • lesliejc
    Nov 24, 2012

    very tasty! have made this the past 2 years, we all love it! added some greens (leftover kale) and substituted farro for the rice and 1/2 whole wheat/1/2 white flour.also baked carcass at 400deg for 45 min. before boiling for extra flavor...