Since Mom was working on Thanksgiving Day she didn’t figure there’s be much in the way of leftovers for her to deal with this year. Boy was she wrong!

Mom had bought a turkey breast to roast so she could have some turkey on her dinner break. She planned to bake a sweet potato and add some cranberry-applesauce and that would be plenty.  Then some friends came by with four (4!) plates of goodies from their Thanksgiving dinner, and a WHOLE smoked turkey they’d smoked at home just for her. A WHOLE turkey…OMD what every would we do with all of this food? (I offered to assist if she’d just put that big brown bird down on the floor at my level, but Mom frowned on that suggestion…Gee I was just trying to help out)

After a couple of days of turkey sandwiches for lunch it was time to strip down those birds and move on to something new. Since the whole turkey had been smoked rather than roasted she wasn’t sure how it would do for soup, but figured it was worth a try. Both the whole carcass, the bones from the breast and all the tasty bits were dumped into a large stock pot and covered with cold water. (Mom didn’t put in onions or seasoning so that I’d be able to share in the broth) After bringing to a low boil, the heat was turned down and the pot was left to low simmer for about 90 minutes. This gave her a large pot of golden rich turkey stock with a slightly smoky background flavor that was unusual and good. Here’s what it looked like while it was simmering.


She let it cool down a bit, then strained it well and dumped almost all that broth back into the stock pot. (Mom saved some of the broth to put on my kibble…That was nice of her don’t you think) Now for the creative fun part of soup making…

When the carcasses were stripped, Mom saved all the breast meat separately ..that is her favorite part (me, Gizmo…I like it all) … and thought about what to do with the dark meat. Mom’s favorite soup is Italian Wedding Soup, which has little meatballs in it, so she decided to do a new version of it. Mom put all the dark meat in the food processor (a very scary machine) along with a large handful of sliced almonds, half a bunch of fresh cilantro, two eggs and some S&P. She ground it all up (it kind of looked like the dawg food that comes in cans) and then made it all up into 3/4″ meatballs, a good size for soup. She baked the meatballs till they were about half-baked (half-baked, like Mom’s sense of humour BOL!) , since they’d finish cooking in the stock later on. Digging around in the freezer she found three lonely Italian sausages that needed a home, so they were quickly sauteed, cut into 1/2″ slices and added to the pot.While the meatballs were baking she threw some chunked up carrots and a large bag of frozen spinach into the stock and let that simmer. When the carrots were tender those meatballs were tossed into the pot (except for a couple that I earned with my sad puppy eyes) , along with about a half box of whole wheat elbow noodles, and the simmering continued till the noodles were al dente (didn’t know I spoke Italian did you…I’m a very cultured dawg).  Now she tasted the broth and adjusted the salt and pepper till it was “just right”.

Here’s what the finished soup looked like.


This is a very large pot of soup so half was frozen and the rest went for lunches. Mom says that this is one of the best soups she’s ever made, and figures it’s due to the smoked turkey carcass, and the slightly smoky flavor of the meatballs, but she’s sure it would work with any turkey carcass…just adjust your  quantities of additions to fit the amount of stock you have.

Come back next week and I’ll tell you what she did with all that breast meat she saved….

Thanks for Kolchak Puggle over at Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever of Golden Woofs  for hosting this Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop. Hop on over and see what everyone is cooking today.



About Gizmo

Hi! I'm Gizmo...a handsome terrier-about-town with a distinct point of view. I will write about whatever interesting things come across my desk, appear on my twitter feed @GizmoGeodog, or meet me out on the geotrails. I love to geocache cause it takes me to all the wild places & I can get back to being a real dog. I care about all my brofurs & sisfurs who haven't found their own forever homes yet, & raise funds to help them whenever I can. My girl brought me home from the shelter & together we explore our world. I do my best to make her smile, & she does her best for me. We are a team.
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  1. Yum, yum, perfect for my beagle tum! This looks paw-some for man and dog! We will totally try this recipe after our Christmas turkey! Smoking seems like a great idea and a tasty soup!

    • Gizmo says:

      *pawwaves* Hiya Wag & Maggie…I really liked the turkey broth on my kibble…just a bit so it wasn’t too soggy…made me feel very special…My friends used to run a BBQ restaurant and do the best BBQ and smoking ever in their backyard…We’re lucky that they like to share

  2. Hey Giz, Jet here. Hi Miss JG.

    What a pawsome, creative idea. The Kitchen K9s give you 8 paws up! We love that you tried something new and figured things out along the way. Giz, we appreciated your recipe tweaks, too. Mom loves making soup, too. This weekend she made carrot fennel, so, we had tasty tidbits!

    • Gizmo says:

      Hiya Jetty & Lori…Mom really is a “seat of the pants” kind of cook…She’d have a great time on a show like “Chopped” cause she tends to cook with “mystery baskets” a lot BOL!

  3. Nichole says:

    I made a *HUGE* pot of turkey carcass soup as well… made it last week and we still have some left over! lol It’s so delish!

    • Gizmo says:

      It would be such a shame to waste all that great flavor wouldn’t it? And I love having some frozen so when an “I need soup” kind of day comes along all I have to do is heat it up.

  4. sounds like a win-win to us. you get something tasty, and so do the humans. what a great idea to use in this recipe, that green color in the soup looks really pretty too.

    yuki and rocket

  5. Hey I think you made Italian Wedding Soup kinda! Very wonderful!

  6. goldenwoofs says:

    Woof! Woof! my mom loves soup and she always experiment. Golden Thanks for sharing. Happy Tasty Tuesday and glad you joined the TT blog hop. Golden Thanks also for you comment and recommended sites. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    • Gizmo says:

      Hiya Sugar! Mom loves TT blog hop cause she loves cooking and experimenting in the kitchen…Hope you find something on those links *snoogles*

  7. Rudy and Jeffie want to know what time they should come over!! Yummmmm…..

  8. kate says:

    Oh soup, perfect for the chilly days

    urban hounds

  9. MMM, YUMM! I’m sure to most..maybe the firstpicture of the turkeysoup might look a bit unappealing (although Im sure it tastes great), but to me it looks so darn delicious. I havenever had turkey soup before! -Kirby’s ma

  10. Cotton says:

    That sure does look yummy, even the green stuffs!!:D

  11. Clowie says:

    I love it when I get things like that broth on my kibble.

  12. Loy says:

    Wow, looks like your mom has enough food to hold you both until 2013! LOL

  13. Holy woof that looks good! Mama’s mouth is watering just looking at it! We love it when there are turkey leftovers. Thanks for joining in the Tasty Tuesday hop!

  14. Lynda Fisher says:

    This post slipped through my e-mail. Your Thanksgiving dinner looks great. Gizmo, you are very lucky to have a mom who cooks. My mom dusts the stove. She did bring turkey for me from her dinner.
    Where do you live? I’m in New York City, if we’re close enough we can me. You and I have a lot to woof about.

    • Gizmo says:

      Hiya BJ…Mom & I live in Florida…I’ve never been to a big city like new York but Mom was born there…If you ever come South let us know…We would love to get together

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