Leftover Turkey Soup

By: Lucinda, Sr. Product Development Manager and Queen of Waste-Free Living

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Lucinda knows how to enjoy the finer things in life, so we trust her when it comes to all things food, drink, travel, and sustainability. 

I must have been about four years old when I remember spending Thanksgiving with my grandparents, Nana and Dada. My Nana was an amazing cook and there were a ton of leftovers. We ate turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, and even turkey enchiladas. By Sunday evening, I was utterly tired of turkey.

When Nana served me a steaming bowl of soup, I surveyed it mutinously, with bits of what looked like turkey swirling around my spoon. “This had better not be turkey soup.”

“Oh no,” she replied. “It’s not turkey soup. It’s Kukuruku soup!”

Well, that was an entirely different matter altogether. We watched a TV show that featured astronauts time traveling back to the Stone Age, where the cavemen dined on some strange dinosaur soup called “Kukuruku.” I couldn’t believe that Nana had the recipe or the ingredients!

Since then, my family has always called the soup we make after Thanksgiving Kukuruku Soup. Because salvaging leftovers is one of my favorite ways to reduce waste in my everyday life, I’m passing along our Kukuruku tradition.

Kukuruku Soup Recipe

  1. 1. Roast the turkey carcass. I usually roast it at 375° for 45 minutes to 1 hour. But I recommend going off of how it looks—I take it out of the oven when it looks browned and you know, “roasty.”
  2. 2. Put the carcass into a stock pot and fill with water. Add salt, onion or garlic trimmings, dried herbs like oregano and thyme, and simmer for an hour.
  3. 3. Strain the solids from the stock pot and compost them. Let the stock cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim off the fat that has congealed on the top.
  4. 4. Next, take the last little bits of turkey meat, and the carrots and celery left over from the crudité platter, and mix them with the stock you’ve made in a Dutch oven or stock pot over low medium heat.
  5. 5. I like to add a cup of barley and any leftover gravy to make it even heartier.
  6. 6. Cook for 30-40 minutes, adding in seasonings like dried oregano or chopped garlic (or whatever you’re feeling, really).
  7. 7. Freeze any leftovers and enjoy for a quick, but filling, meal during the busy holiday season.

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The inventor of Kukuruku soup herself, Nana.

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