Most homemade turkey soup recipes call for making stock from a leftover turkey carcass, water, bay leaves and aromatic vegetables. The homemade stock gets strained and added to turkey meat and vegetables such as carrots, celery and peas. Potatoes, noodles, barley or rice add heartiness to the dish.
To make an easy, flavorful turkey stock, place a turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Cover it with approximately 3 quarts of water, and add 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir in 1 chopped onion, 1 1/2 chopped carrots and 1 1/2 chopped stalks of celery. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low or low and simmer it for approximately one hour. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and strain the stock.
Discard the vegetables, and reserve the turkey meat. Return the pot to the stove, and melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 1/2 chopped carrots and 1 1/2 chopped stalks of celery until the vegetables are tender. Pour the stock back into the pot along with 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes before adding diced turkey meat, herbs such as fresh basil or parsley, and 2 cups of your choice of starch. Starch options include cooked potatoes, barley, pasta or rice.