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Turkey Soup with Matzah Balls

Turkey Soup with Matzah Balls Related:   Hanukkah, low-fat, meat, North America, soups, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Thanksgivukkah

Prep time: 30 minutes with matzah balls

Cook time: 2-3 hours

Yield: 10-12 servings

That unsightly leftover carcass from turkey is more than a bunch of bones. With just a little effort, you can turn it into the foundation for a great soup. The rich broth is a tasty vehicle for vegetables, fresh or leftover. Matzah balls and noodles would love to take a turkey soup swim as well. Like many soups, this one is very flexible and doesn’t require exact ingredients to turn out flavorful. Try adding some bite-sized pieces of turkey as well, another delicious way to use up that leftover turkey.


  • Soup
  • 1 leftover turkey carcass
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cups other vegetables, chopped on the small side if needed, such as carrots, corn, brussel sprouts,
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced, or dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces wide noodles (optional)
  • Matzah Balls
  • 1 cup matzah meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons oil or, if using, melted schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
  • 4 tablespoons broth, cooled, or seltzer


  • Remove any visible fat from the turkey carcass. In a large soup pot, cover the turkey carcass with cool water so it’s at least 2 inches over the top of the carcass. Add the bay leaves, cover, bring to a boil and then let simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, making sure there’s always 2 inches of water on top. When it’s finished, carefully take out the carcass, tipping it to make sure no water is trapped and trying to avoid having it fall apart on you. Take out the bay leaves also.
  • At this point, the broth can be strained through a colander lined with cheesecloth if that’s what you like, or it can be left with everything in it. To the broth in the pot, add the onions, celery, vegetables and diced tomatoes. Stir to blend. Add the thyme and salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Let the soup simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes, then add noodles if using stir and cook until noodles until are al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes, and the flavors are blending well.
  • During any stage of the soup cooking, make the matzah balls. Beat the eggs, oil and broth or seltzer together in a bowl. Mix in dry ingredients just until well blended. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. In the meantime, bring 8 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Take the chilled mixture from the refrigerator. Barely moisten hand with cool water, then shape about a tablespoon of batter into a ball and carefully drop it into the pot of gently boiling water. When the mixture is all in the pot, cover tightly and simmer about 30 to 40 minutes until the balls are thoroughly cooked. Remove balls from the water with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately in a bowl of soup or place them in the soup pot and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or just until heated through, then serve the soup.

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