Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
I’m sure everyone has their own version of post Thanksgiving turkey soup but I wanted to share with you this quick and easy version prepared by my friend Paula who is from Mexico and a wonderful cook teaching me the basics of authentic Mexican cuisine. This is a true what’s-on-hand recipe prepared with ingredients leftover from Thanksgiving and whatever is in the refrigerator.
It starts with preparing a simple turkey broth and I mean simple. We had a big crowd so my wife and I prepared two smaller turkeys. One was 16 pound and the other 12 pounds.
I just threw their carcasses along with the leg bones and wings into a large soup pot, covered them with water, brought them to a boil, lowered the heat and let the pot simmer for about three hours.
Let the broth cool and then strain into containers to use for soup or freeze for other turkey dishes like turkey risotto. There will be plenty of meat left on the carcass that will have fallen off or is easy to remove with your fingers. Save this to add back to the soup.
This is very good soup and better than anything you can buy in a can and much less expensive AND without all the unnecessary salt. I urge every home cook to use the bones from their roasted turkeys and chickens to make broth for cooking. It freezes well and there is always a need for homemade broth (stock) in one of your recipes during the week.
There are so many times I roast a chicken or even buy one at the supermarket only to throw out the carcass and don’t use it to make chicken stock. The next day I’ll be making something calling for chicken stock and I have to use one of my store bought brands.
There are some very good commercial brands now on the market to choose from, but none will have the flavor of your own homemade stock.
I have been eating this soup for lunch 3 days running and it gets better every day. Filling and nutritious, what could be better?
Did You Make Turkey Stock With Your Carcass This Year?
Paula’s Turkey Soup Thanksgiving 2010
- Add all the ingredients to the turkey stock.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. I found that our soup was perfect as is, but you might need to add some salt and/or pepper to yours.
A Delicious Turkey Soup Prepared with Leftover Roasted Turkey
We cooked a turkey some time ago while friends were in town and saved the carcass. After three days of eating delicious leftover turkey for dinner and sandwiches for lunch, my wife wanted to make soup with turkey stock and winter vegetables.
Without a recipe, she threw a bunch of ingredients in the pot and let them cook. The result, an incredible creamy turkey soup….the best I’ve ever tasted. Here’s her recipe.
Roast Turkey Soup with Winter Vegetables
- Simple prep for a delicious soup. Chop the carrots, parsnips, turnips celery and potatoes. Prepare the bouquet garni. Now start cooking.
- Place the carcass (and trimmed legs and wings) in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add enough water to cover the turkey carcass and then some.
- Add bouquet garni and simmer until the meat falls off the bone, approximately 4-5 hours.
- Remove the bouquet garni and strain the soup. Add the broth back to the pot along with all the meat that fell off the carcass. Remove any meat still on the bones and add it back to the pot.
- Add carrots, parsnip, turnips, celery leaves and continue to simmer 1-2 hours.
- Add salt & pepper to taste and then add the potatoes & celery, simmer 30 - 45 minutes.
- Serve with fresh bread.
Making Turkey Soup From Leftovers Found In Your Refrigerator and Pantry
Thanksgiving has come and gone so let’s continue thinking about what to do with all those leftovers. You’re most likely finding a lot of information about how to cook a turkey and what to serve with it in your favorite cooking magazines and local newspapers, but let’s talk about what to do with all those leftovers.
We already looked at preparing Leftover Thanksgiving Day Turkey Chili so now let’s look at Leftover Thanksgiving Day Soup.
There are two dilemmas that home cooks have around the holidays. One is making room in the refrigerator for the holiday feast. Dilemma two is getting rid of the leftovers after the holiday feast. Fortunately, there is one solution to both of these problems: soup.
If you don’t have any stock lying around before the holidays, make sure you have some good quality chicken or turkey stock from the store. The simplest soup is literally:
Open your refrigerator –>> Take out the leftovers –>> Dump them in a pot –>> Cover them with stock –>> Heat –>> Serve
OK, so maybe you need a little more direction than that? Let’s go see what’s leftover in my fridge. Okay, here’s what I have:
|Half a jar of salsa||Leftover roasted chicken|
|2 limes||2 jalapeno peppers|
|Celery||Peeled cippolini onions|
|Bacon||Sliced lunch meats|
|Raw sliced potatoes|
What’s in the pantry that I can use?
- Dried cranberry beans
- Mini fusilli pasta
- Hot sauce
Sounds like soup to me. I’m thinking some sort of a spin on Tortilla soup. Here’s what I’ll do.
How to Make at Home
1. Quarter the onions. Cut the wonton skins in strips; brush with a little oil, sprinkle with salt and brown/crisp in the oven. (If you have a Fry Daddy, go for the deep fry)
2. Slice celery and carrots on the bias, then cut jalapenos into small dice.
3. Cook the bacon and crumble into small pieces.
4. Cut up lunch meat into little pieces.
5. Dice potato scraps.
6. Heat a pan big enough to hold all this stuff, put in some olive oil and let the oil get hot. Add the carrots, celery, jalapenos and onion and season with salt and pepper.
7. Add some chili powder and the salsa and then some chicken broth.
8. Put beans in and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the beans get soft. This can take at least 2 hours but you can skip the beans if you don’t have much time or use canned beans if you have them. Add the juice from the limes.
9. Add the chicken, lunch meats and potatoes after the beans are soft. If you are using canned beans, add the meats and potatoes with the beans and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes.
10. Add a handful of past but not to much or it will soak up all the stock. Continue simmering until the pasta is done to your liking, about 10 minutes.
11. Serve in bowls with crumbled bacon and crispy wonton strips on top
Is this a “real” recipe? Well, probably not, but it is real cooking.
It’s finding a use for what I have and putting those ingredients together in an appetizing way. Plus, my fridge is now ready for my turkey and big old ham!
The clean-out-the-fridge-after-Thanksgiving soup is even easier. You can make Turkey Chili, or you can stick with soup. If your fridge looks like my fridge after the holidays, there will be:
Turkey – Ham – Peas – Mashed potatoes – Carrots – Roasted sweet potatoes – Stuffing – Green beans – Cranberry sauce
First and foremost, you’ll want to make some stock out of the turkey carcass – that will free up a lot of space. Make a minimalist stock – by just covering it with cold water, adding some salt and peppercorns and letting it simmer for a few hours while you do other things. Once you’ve got your stock, the rest is easy.
1. Dice leftover meat
2. Mix some stock with the mashed potatoes and some stuffing – this is what will thicken your soup and give it a cream soup texture.
3. Add all your leftovers to the pot. They’re already cooked, so you’ll just want them to heat through.
4. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
5. Best practice is to chill the soup overnight and then reheat so the flavors will marry, but you can just go ahead and eat it.
A Bit More Complex Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe
1. Heat your soup pot and add some oil.
2. Throw in about a cup or so of stuffing and stir it around until the stuffing starts to brown a little -I make mine with celery and onions, so, instant aromatics!
3. Add some stock and about a cup of mashed potatoes. Stir everything around a little more.
4. Add the rest of the stock and your other leftovers.
5. Add any herbs or spice blends that you want (poultry seasoning is nice for a turkey soup). Don’t be afraid to add the cranberry sauce (maybe 1/2 cup or so) – I think you’ll like it.The sweet-tartness will help to balance all the other rich ingredients.
6. Taste it for seasonings and adjust as necessary. Chill overnight and reheat for best flavor.