Dishing Up the Dirt

Turkey Vegetable Stew

When your husband moans while eating his turkey stew, you count it as a win!

A few weeks ago we traded some Tumbleweed Farm winter squash, garlic and onions for some turkey from our neighboring farmers who raise them. We wanted to wait until a special occasion popped up to roast the turkey so we could enjoy it with family and friends. Luckily, my brother and sister-in-law came out to the farm for a visit along with my folks. We invited a few neighbors over as well and fired up the oven. Everyone pitched in making a bunch of side dishes while we sipped wine, laughed until our stomachs hurt and gathered in the kitchen while preparing our feast. It was a total ball and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry when everyone left the next day. The farmhouse felt a little empty and our hearts ached a bit because we won’t see some of those guys for a long time.  I hate that feeling you get after such a high, when you come down extra low because you were overflowing with love and nonstop laughter. It’s hard to say goodbye to some of your favorite people. Times like this are always a good reminder that family and friends can fill your heart and soul with so much joy that in their absence, you feel like part of yourself is missing. Love is so powerful and we’re lucky to have such rad people in our lives (even if they live far away).

Anyhow, since I was feeling kind of blue after everyone left I decided to turn to my favorite form of therapy; my stove. Since we had leftover turkey I made a homemade stock (you can’t skip this part!) and then tossed in some simple veggies and leftover turkey. This is one of those soups that is so damn flavorful with minimal ingredients. Don’t let the cooking time scare you, it’s mostly hands off time and the longer everything simmers the better it gets! This really is soup for the soul and after Taylor and I sat down to dinner we immediately felt better. Our hearts were full and our bodies were nourished. And yes, Taylor moaned while he ate this soup (it’s his new favorite). This is the kind of stew we’re going to need often this winter and I hope you all find as much comfort and joy in this meal as we do.

Thank you Eliza and Mike for the turkey and for giving us a great excuse to prepare a meal with some of our favorite people. Let us know when you’re ready to trade again!

Cheer from a very snowy Tumbleweed Farm.

Turkey & Root Vegetable Stew

Prep Time: 25 minutes    Cook Time: 3 hours    Serves: 6

Turkey Stock
  • 1 leftover (cooked) turkey carcass (it should be about 4 pounds with most of the meat off)
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut into large chunks (no need to peel)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • salt to taste
  • about 1 gallon of water
Turkey Stew
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium sized carrots, roughly chopped (peeling is optional)
  • 2 medium sized parsnips, roughly chopped (peeling is optional)
  • 1-2 rutabagas, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 yukon gold potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups turkey stock
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups roughly chopped skinless turkey meat
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the carcass into smaller pieces. In a large pot add the carcass, vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, pinch of salt and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface and strain the stock. Reserve 5 cups of stock for the soup and refrigerate or freeze the rest.
  2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the turkey and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or so. Discard the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with toasted bread and enjoy.


*You can substitute this recipe with a chicken carcass instead of turkey *Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

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One thought on “Turkey Vegetable Stew

  1. Tea says:

    This is a really lovely and comforting soup.
    I pressure cooked the broth for 2 hrs, and found I can dilute it with water and still get a very flavorful soup (and extra stock for freezing).. The soup is also open to playing around with lots of different veggies. I used some sweet potatoes and leeks and even added some shredded brussels sprouts near the end.
    Thanks for this recipe.

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