Enjoy the Holiday with Tasty Turkey Bisque/Soup

An easy and inexpensive way to use your turkey bones wisely.

The turkey is a respectable bird that is a true original native of North America.

Benjamin Franklin was in favor of making the turkey the national bird instead of the Bald Eagle. That never came to pass.

There is no real evidence that turkey was served at the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving (fish and vegetables were probably served) but it became part of the Thanksgiving tradition in some way.

Most of the time, you don’t know what to do with the turkey bones if you roasted a turkey — usually you just discard it. I found an inexpensive way to use it to enhance my family meals, and hopefully yours.

Everyone looks forward to dinner for the turkey bisque/soup that I enjoy cooking. You can change it to suit your own ingredients. If you do not roast a turkey, you can buy uncooked bones from your favorite kosher butcher. Your family can have its own personal turkey liquid delight. This is one recipe that you can make all year round...not just for Thanksgiving.


  • Turkey bones, broken up or 1/2 package of uncooked bones
  • 1/2 package barley (about a cup and 1/2) 
  • 1/2 package small lima beans (about a cup and 1/2)  
  • 4 carrots pealed and cut up 
  • 4 stalks of celery cut up 
  • 1 medium onion cut up 
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring water to boil (1/2 way up in a six quart pot).
  2. Put in lima beans, barley, carrots, celery, onions and turkey bones with a small amount of salt.
  3. Cover and cook for two hours.
  4. Remove bones from the pot.
  5. In a circular grinder, strain the carrots, celery and onions until soup is thick. You can add some of the turkey that fell off the bones if you like.
  6. Taste to see if it needs more salt.
  7. If you have a lot of soup, you can pour it into small containers to freeze. If it is too thick, you can always add a little more water.

I have used my mother’s circular grinder that is over 70 years old. It has seen better days, but I refuse to throw it out and get a new one. It has so many good memories.

Serves: Six to seven people.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Stephen J. Bronner November 22, 2011 at 08:48 PM
From Edna: The soup sounds delicious. However, there is one problem. Dried beans will not cook properly in 2 hours. They need to be soaked overnight or for a while before going into the soup.


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