A Bowl of Comfort

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it left behind one of the best leftovers of all, the remains of the turkey. The word carcass was tossed around a few times, and since it is one of the ugliest words in the English language, I will here forth refer to the carcass simply as the turkey. 

My mother sent the turkey home with me this weekend, and I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning making a couple of very large batches of stock. It was simple, the turkey, plus about 12 cups of water, a quartered yellow onion, a few stalks of celery, leaves and all, crushed garlic, and cracked black peppercorns. Leave to simmer for hours, and return to some of the most flavorful soup stock you will ever eat.

I started the soup by pouring the stock through a colander to remove any solids, then chilling the stock so that I could skim the fat off of the top.

turkey stock

Some fat still remains, which is a good thing, for flavor, but too much and your soup will be an icky oil slick.

skimming turkey stock

I split up my stock into a few containers, one for the soup and a few more for freezing. A winter cold doesn’t stand a chance against my homemade turkey stock. Winking smile 

white onion

The soup ingredients were fairly simple, a chopped white onion, several cups of kale, chopped linguica (Portuguese sausage), white beans, and Israeli couscous. 



white beans and couscous

I started by sautéing the onion and linguica in a little bit of olive oil until the onion was soft and the linguica was sizzling.  Then I poured in the stock and Israeli couscous and brought it all to a boil.

kale soup

At the very end, I added the white beans and kale, then shut the heat off and let the kale wilt in the soup. I also added some ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

kale soup

Delicious. Soooo simple, flavorful, nutritious, warm, cozy, comforting, and complete. I could eat this soup over and over and not get tired of it. The linguica gives it a smoky spice that keeps it from being a bland soup. Because of all of the flavors, I did not even need to add salt. It is just lovely.

Do you ever make homemade stock for soup? What was your favorite use for the turkey day leftovers?

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Tags: cooking, Food, homemade soup, kale, linguica, recipe, turkey, turkey stock

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    I didn’t bring home too many leftovers after Thanksgiving but I’ve been definitely enjoying my turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce pressed sandwiches!


  2. Sandra’s avatar

    Wow, that looks so good! I will try it for sure!


  3. Dawn (whineaux)’s avatar

    This looks amazing. I’ve found I like turkey stock better than chicken stock. i love your soup, I’ll be trying it soon!


  4. Boston Sports Woman’s avatar

    Meghan, any suggestions with a ham bone? Yes, we had ham and turkey for Thanksgiving!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      We had ham the day after! I know people like to make split pea soup with the hambone. That or some sort of beans, maybe even to start a chili?


    2. Alicia’s avatar

      I didn’t bring any leftovers home….I have so much food in my fridge to eat before I move!!!

      This soup looks incredible….and you know I know my kale and linguica soups!


    3. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

      Definitely comforting!! I had a ham bone too…did a soup with kale and orzo….


    4. Emily’s avatar

      Yum! I am a huge fan of Israeli cous cous and am always looking for new ways to use it. Soup is not something I had even thought of! Your house must have smelled amazing!


    5. Tina’s avatar

      I could use a bowl of that goodness right now.


    6. Heather’s avatar

      I absolutely love homemade turkey soup. My sister and I love it so much that we ask for it as a Christmas present.

      There is nothing better!


    7. Jean at The Delightful Repast’s avatar

      There’s no substitute for homemade turkey stock! Then throw in two of my favorite foods, beans and kale, and I’m happy no matter what else you add to the soup!


    8. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      That soup looks very comforting.
      I’m weird because I like the word carcass :)


    9. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

      Soups are so comforting and very much needed in this -20C weather!


    10. Enrico’s avatar

      looks delish!!!!!


    11. Megan’s avatar

      Ooh couscous. I so want to make a soup with couscous now. I just made chicken soup from scratch last week, but I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet. Unlike you, I had to add a lot of salt to my soup. I should think about adding some more interesting (flavorful) ingredients like you did.

      I have this really bad habit of frying up leftover mashed potatoes with lots of butter. I like to stir them very infrequently so they get all brown and crispy.


    12. Sues’s avatar

      Yum! This is why I wish I had made my own turkey :) Might have to do that soon! I love that there’s linguisa in the soup… definitely my idea of comfort, too! :)


    13. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen’s avatar

      I love soups this time of year. You can make a big pot and be fed all week. Yours sounds extra delicious and filled this thanksgiving memories!


    14. Kimmy’s avatar

      Oh yum. Love the idea of using the couscous in this. I’m always looking for ways to use up my kale too!


    15. Julie’s avatar

      Mmmm! Homemade stock is truly the best! Yours looks super; my favorite thing to do with leftovers is, I shudder to admit, keep eating them!! Perhaps this is why I have yet to get on the scale, but who cares!


    16. Shannon’s avatar

      ooh, i made some turkey stock, too! now i know how to use it :)


    17. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

      I always make a homemade stock after cooking a chicken or turkey. I make chicken/ turkey noodle soup :-) It is one of my all time favourite foods.


    18. Grace’s avatar

      Yum! The turkey stock looks great, and I love how you transformed it into a new recipe. It is definitely soup weather!


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