Thanksgiving dinner clean up in our kitchen usually means throwing things together for turkey stock. It was super easy this year because we had a smaller turkey than usual; a 13 pounder. I didn't have to get the chain saw out and cut a 20 pound carcass into pieces.
Place your turkey carcass in a 5-1/2 quart Dutch oven (or larger if you have a big turkey). Now, start going through your refrigerator and pantry and grab anything you can add to help create a rich stock. I used the rest of my celery, carrots, an onion, garlic, some fresh oregano and rosemary.
I'm too full and tired to start the stock Thanksgiving night so I cover the pot with foil and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
The next morning I filled the pot with water, added a little salt and brought the pot to a boil.
Once boiling, I turned the heat down, covered (lid slightly ajar), and simmered for about 4 hours.
Allow to cool a bit and remove all solids. If there is a substantial amount of meat on your turkey carcass you can pull that off at this point and save. Strain broth then strain a second time through a cheesecloth lined strainer.
Broth is cooled in refrigerator to allow fat to rise to the top and solidify. Scrape the fat off, discard, and store broth in an airtight container if using within the next few days. If not, freeze.
I ended up with 8 cups of turkey stock.
To turn the stock into a hearty soup I added a turkey thigh that was obviously not being eaten as leftovers
zucchini & yellow squash
and some small pasta shells; because that's what I had at hand.
Once you have your turkey broth you can add anything you want and create the perfect soup that's just right for you and your family.
I'm not going to post a formal recipe since this is a throw - together type of soup. You don't even have to use the broth right away. Freeze it for another day.