Turkey Tetrazzini Soup

This is a mash-up recipe that came about as a result of my desire to combine two favorite leftover turkey dishes, because I didn’t have enough leftover meat to make both. Essentially it is a creamy turkey noodle soup, with a few extras. Please note, my grandmother always put olives in her tetrazzini, something that I have come to understand is not necessarily part of the standard dish, which for many people includes peas. To me, olives are essential; peas are not. You get to choose.

Serves 4–5

For stock

  • Turkey carcass, cleaned of leftover meat.
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped (leave the skin on; it adds color to the broth)
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped (you can also throw a parsnip in, if you have one)
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • Bay leaf
  • 5 or 6 stalks of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Salt

For soup

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed but not cut
  • 2 carrots, diced (or substitute parsnips)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups turkey stock
  • 2 cups leftover turkey meat (or what you have)
  • ¼ pound broken fettuccini noodles, cooked al dente
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup sherry (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1 cup sliced black olives or frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For garnish

  • Minced flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated parmesan
  • Toasted chopped or sliced almonds

When you make your turkey stock you can roast your bones for extra flavor beforehand, if you have the time and energy. Roast at 450° for 25 minutes or so—bones will be brown and sizzling. Put bones in stockpot with the rest of the stock ingredients. Add cold water to cover (at least 8 cups). Bring just barely to boil then turn temperature to low so water rests just below a simmer. Skim any foam from the top. Allow to barely simmer (bubbles should only rarely break surface) for 3–4 hours. Taste for seasoning. Strain stock and set aside 5 cups for soup. Extra stock can be frozen in ice cube trays then popped out and stored in a freezer bag for easy portioning. Use it anytime you need chicken stock.

To make the soup, sauté onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and mushrooms in butter until soft. Add flour and stir until just barely golden. Stir and slowly add 1 cup warm broth. Once the butter-flour mixture has incorporated add the rest of the broth along with turkey meat. Fish out garlic and discard. Then add noodles, cheese, sherry, cream, and olives and stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve in flat bowls topped with parley, cheese, and almonds.