Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup

I hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with faces of people you love and lots of food. Mine was. Oh, So. Much. Food.

By Saturday evening, still facing down piles of leftovers, I couldn’t bring myself to eat another plate of reheated turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and pie. The Hubs and I went out on the town for dinner to a local joint to celebrate Small Business Saturday. And Sunday afternoon, I turned what was leftover into a delicious soup.

After having Thanksgiving leftovers for three days, I was ready for something a little less heavy anyway. And soup is an easy way to transform those tired old holiday dishes into something wonderful.

Turkey Leftovers Soup (2)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Soup (Serves 8)

  • 1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 gloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 quart turkey stock (see note)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 cups turkey, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups whatever vegetables you have like green beans (not green bean casserole)–I used a can of chopped asparagus
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried ground sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup turkey gravy
  • 1 cup boiled or roasted potato pieces, optional

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion, garlic and carrot, and saute for a 5-7 minutes until the vegetables soften. Stir often to keep the garlic from burning. Add the stock and broth, turkey, vegetables and tomatoes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add the spices. Bring the soup up to a simmer, then reduce heat and cover. Let simmer 2o minutes. Add the gravy and potatoes. Replace lid and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Turkey Leftovers Soup

Homemade turkey stock is a no-brainer in this recipe since presumably you have turkey leftovers. Once dinner is over on Thanksgiving, remove all the remaining meat from the bones. Toss the carcass and any aromatics like onions or apples you might have used in the cavity into your slow cooker. Add about 1/4 cup of white wine (or 1-2 Tb cider vinegar) and fill the slow cooker with water. Add a bay leaf. Or not. And season with salt and pepper. Cook on low for at least 12 hours, although 24 makes it even better. Once it’s ready, remove what’s left of the bones, etc, and strain the stock. Voila! You have homemade turkey stock.

Be careful with salt in this recipe. I didn’t salt it at all because my turkey was brined (probably overly brined) and I used a random can of asparagus pieces and stems from the pantry that contained salt. The gravy was a little salty, too, since it was made with the juices from the turkey after it cooked. (Store-bought gravies are often salty, too). The flavor of the soup turned out just perfect without adding any salt.

Turkey Leftovers Soup (1)

I’m enjoying this in my lunch this week. It’s a nice light contrast to all the overindulging in heavy meals I did last week. That is especially important this time of year.

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