Turkey Tortellini Soup

As we near the Christmas Holiday we take stock here in the Kitchen, of the meals we have prepared for festive celebrations.  Wait…Stock!  We forgot the Stock!

Turkey Tortellini Soup paired with Italian Pesto-Grilled Cheese

Turkey Tortellini Soup


  • 12-18 lbs turkey carcass, cleared on most meat
  • six cloves of smashed garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion (yellow or sweet) quartered
  • 5 stalks of celery coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 peeled and coarsely chopped carrots
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh thyme
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh rosemary
  • 3-4 stalks of fresh oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk of fresh basil, leaves removed
  • cold water to cover over turkey (about 2-3 quarts)
  • 1 -2 cups of baby carrots, sliced
  • 5-6 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion (yellow or sweet) finely chopped
  • 1 leek sliced thinly
  • left over meat from the turkey (about 1 whole breast and 1 drum stick, dependent upon bird size) cubed
  • 2 stalks of fresh basil, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 4 stalks of fresh oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 4 – 5 stalks of fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • A handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 6 tsp of minced garlic
  • 5-6 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 pound of fresh tortellini, prepared separately and added to plated soup.

Cooking Directions:

  • In a 3-5 quart stock pot (dependent upon size of the turkey carcass you may have to quarter the carcass or use a bigger stock pot), place the turkey carcass, quartered onion, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, smashed garlic, whole stalks of thyme-rosemary-oregano, bay leaves and basil leaves.
  • Fill the pot with cold water until the water covers the turkey.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once a steady boil is reached, lower the heat to low-medium to maintain slow boil, cook for 1.5 hours.
  • Once done cooking, strain the solids from the turkey stock, return the turkey stock to the stock pot and keep warm over low-medium heat.
  • Into the turkey stock add the sliced carrots, celery, leeks, chopped onion, the chopped fresh basil-oregano-thyme-chives.
  • Stir to mix the herbs into the turkey stock.
  • Add the garlic, and kosher salt (checking taste between teaspoons of salt, you can always add salt)
  • Add the turkey meat.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower to maintain a soft boil (medium-low heat) and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Separately fill a 3 quart pot with 32 ounces of chicken stock and bring 3/4 full with cold water, add 1 tbsp of garlic powder and 1 tbsp of dried Italian spice mix, bring to a boil.
  • Add fresh tortellini and cook for about 6 minutes on a soft boil (medium heat) until al-dente.

Plating Recommendations:

In a bowl or large bread bowl add 1/2 cup of cooked tortellini, 2-3 ladles of turkey soup, provide saltines or oyster crackers, and match with a hearty warm sandwich on a cold winters’ eve.

Refrigerate left overs or freeze the soup (minus the pasta) in zip-lock freezer bag.  Should stay for 4-5 days in the refrigerator or about 6 months in the freezer.