I hope you saved your bones! Here’s a hearty and delicious recipe for Turkey Minestrone Soup made with the left-over bird from your Thanksgiving day feast, along with simple pantry staples. The scratch made turkey stock will make you feel you’ve done your bird right, not letting any of its goodness go to waste. This recipe can also be made with store-bought chicken or turkey stock.
It takes about 2-3 hours to simmer the turkey stock and develop its flavor, so do this part over the weekend. But once the stock is made, the minestrone itself can be made in 35 minutes flat. The stock can be frozen or kept in the fridge for 5-7 days until you are ready to use.
I made the flavorful turkey stock today as I putzed around in my slippers and pajamas, recovering from last night’s festivities. It’s uncomplicated and hands off.
Of course if you would like to make it a touch more complicated, feel free to roast the bones and veggies before adding to the pot of water. This will deepen and add complexity to the stock. I admittedly did not do this, feeling a bit lazy and slow today.
This recipe calls for one cup pasta ( remember you can always use gluten-free pasta) and 1 can of beans, here I used cannellini, but really most any bean will work, even lentils, so use what you have on hand. And of course you can use dry, soaked & cooked beans….heirloom beans are especially good. If using canned beans, always be sure to rinse them.
I kept the vegetables pretty traditional here- carrots, onions and celery with a handful of lacinato kale to boost the nutrients.
Hope you are having a relaxing and joy-filled holiday weekend.
A hearty Minestrone Soup using leftover Thanksgiving Turkey with baby pasta shells, cannellini beans and kale.
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion,diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced,cut into half-moons
- 2 celery stocks, thinly sliced
- 6 fat garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme- or sub dried oregano and/or dried basil
- 6 cups flavorful turkey Stock ( see below)or use chicken stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes ( 1 ½ cups) and their juices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 cup pasta like little shells ( or use GF pasta)
- 1 can cannellini beans ( rinsed and drained) or use white beans, pinto or cooked heirloom beans
- 1 –2 cups turkey meat
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or GF Braggs Liquid Amino
- pinch cayenne
- Handful Tuscan or Lacinato Kale
- Garnish- fresh parsley, basil ribbons, lemon zest, drizzle olive oil and/ or grated parmesan or romano
- Turkey Stock
- 5 lbs Turkey bones ( legs, ribs, carcass, neck)
- 1 onion
- 6 smashed garlic
- 1–2 carrots, rough chopped
- 1 –2 celery stalks, rough chopped
- 10–15 peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- fresh herb sprigs ( thyme, rosemary sage) optional
- To make the stock, place turkey bones- legs, ribs and carcass in a large pot.
- Add a sliced onion, 6 smashed garlic cloves, celery, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaves and a few sprigs fresh herbs. If you have other veggie scraps, feel free to add.
- Add enough water to cover by 2 inches.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, for abut 2 hours, skimming the surface every 30-40 minutes. Cook until stock is flavorful. Strain.
- To remove more fat, chill and fat will rise to the top and harden for easy removal.
- To make Minestrone:
- In a large pot, heat oil over med- high heat.
- Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook6-8 minutes, stirring often, cooking until onion begins to brown, turning heat to medium if necessary.
- Add thyme, turkey stock, tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling add 1 cup pasta ( don’t be tempted to add more), beans and turkey meat.
- Cook 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Add kale and stir to wilt.
- Taste for salt, add soy sauce for depth, and pinch cayenne for a little heat.
- Divide among bowls, sprinkle with fresh parsley or basil ribbons, a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest or grated parmesan.