Fall Into Comfort Foods – The Basic Turkey Stock

When the weather turns cold in the fall, I want warm blankets, thick scarves, and hot comfort food. Everyone has their own favorite foods, but we can all agree that comfort food is associated with feelings of well-being and home cooking.

My favorite comfort food is soup, made with homemade turkey stock. Turkey stock freezes well – I usually freeze it in two and four cup containers; most soup recipes will call for four or six cups of stock, and I like to have the option of using stock to make more flavourful rice.

If you’ve never made homemade turkey stock before, here is my super easy how-to guide.

What you will need

Turkey carcass or bones – essentially, you can make two pots of turkey stock, one with just the carcass and the other with the bones. I also like to keep the skin (at least some of it) to add necessary fat to your stock. You can also keep the neck of the bird – this adds additional flavour to your stock.

There is no science in the ingredients – add a couple of unpeeled carrots, celery stalks, one quartered onion, half a dozen garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and I like to add a couple bay leaves as well.

What you do

After you add all the ingredients to the soup or stock pot, completely submerge its contents with water.

Leave the lid off the pot and bring the stock to a boil – then reduce heat to low-medium and put the lid back on the pot. Let simmer.

Tip: If you are planning on using the stock same day, reduce the heat to a medium and leave the lid off. Basically, you want to infuse all the flavours by reducing some of the water – this should take approximately 3-4 hours.

What I do: I allow my stock to simmer for a minimum of 12 hours under low-medium heat, with the lid on. This still allows for the flavours to infuse but with less liquid loss.

Once your stock is done, let it cool. Using a colander, and a large bowl, strain the liquid from the bones and veggies.

Tip: You may want to strain the stock again with a smaller strainer to remove any particles that may have stayed in the liquid.

Once cooled, freeze – or you can use it immediately in your favorite soup.

One of my favorite soups to make is this Thai Coconut Curry Soup:



1 lb | 450g roast turkey, cut into bite size strips

4 cups | 1L turkey broth

2 tbsp | 30ml fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 stalks lemon grass (optional)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 lime, zested and juiced

2 cans, unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp | 5ml red pepper flakes

1 tbsp | 15ml fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp | 15ml fresh lime juice

2 tbsp | 30ml sugar

1 tbsp | 15ml soya sauce

3 cups | 750ml fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

2 green onions, finely sliced

1/4 cup | 65ml fresh Thai or regular basil, chopped


  1. In a large pot, combine stock, ginger, lemon grass, lemon and lime zest. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the coconut milk, red pepper flakes, turkey, lemon and lime juice, sugar and soy sauce.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through. Add mushrooms and red pepper while continuing to cook for 10 more minutes.
  3. Remove lemon grass stalks, stir in green onions and serve! Add some cooked basmati rice for a complete meal in a bowl.