Vegetable Soup with Roast Turkey Stock

Domesticated Turkey

Domesticated Turkey

By Cat, Nov 2014 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also Soups & Stocks Menu

This recipe features a rich bone broth, in this case from a turkey carcass. The bones and bone marrow provide many nutrients to the broth including minerals and gelatin. Bone broths have many health benefits as detailed in a recipe article on Mercola’s website (1):

  1. Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion. The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid, which means it attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion.
  2. Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal quantities, significantly mitigating infection (3).
  3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage.
  4. Promotes strong, healthy bones: Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation.
  5. Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth.
  6. Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation) (4). Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.

Vegetable Soup with Roast Turkey Stock

This recipe is adapted from Mercola’s website (1), but the original source is from from Earthbound Farm Organic (2).

Preferably you purchased your turkey from a local farmer, or raised it yourself. In this case, save the feet of the bird and add it with the bones in the recipe.

Otherwise, purchase a brand that you trust has raised the animal humanely and in pasture. I do not recommend the big national brands, as they inject the bird with fluids that contain flavors and other additives that may not be good for your health. Here in NW Montana, I buy my turkey from a local Hutterite colony.

Note that it doesn’t have to be a turkey. Capon, roasting chicken, and game hens also make excellent stock, as well as game birds, ducks and geese. Or use beef, buffalo, yak, emu, or venison bones.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Stock:
  • 1 turkey carcass (with most meat removed, which can later be added to the soup)
  • 2 yellow onions (cut into 8 pieces each)
  • 2 large carrots (cut into 1-inch lengths)
  • 2 stalks celery (cut into 1-inch lengths)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 12 fresh parsley stems
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Soup:
  • 1 large carrot (cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 2 stalks celery (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 small fennel bulb (cored, cut in half, and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 leek (cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 1 cup green beans (cut into 1-inch lengths)
  • 2 small zucchini (cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch slices)
  • 3 cups cubed cooked turkey meat (optional)
  • Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Equipment
  • Roasting pan
  • Large stock pot


  1. Stock: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the turkey carcass and bones in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes, then add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook until the vegetables and bones begin to brown, 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a large stock pot. Add cold water to completely cover the bones and bring to a simmer over high heat.
  3. Add the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, parsley, and peppercorns; reduce the heat to a setting that will maintain a slow simmer.
  4. Cook the stock for 4 hours, adding more water if the level drops below the bones and vegetables.
  5. Let cool for 30 minutes, then strain the stock through a colander or sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid. Discard the contents of the colander. At this point, you can continue with the soup recipe, or cool the stock and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 5 days, or freeze it.
  6. Soup: Return the stock to a large Dutch oven or 4-quart pot. Add the carrots and cook the soup over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the celery, fennel, and leeks, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the green beans and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the cubed turkey and the zucchini. Continue cooking until the zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.


  1. Mercola recipe (
  2. Earthbound Farm Organic recipe (
  3. PubMed article from Chest, 2000: Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro, by Rennard, et. al. (
  4. PubMed article from JPEN, 2005: The role of arginine in infection and sepsis (

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