Everyone needs a great turkey soup recipe to solve the post-holiday food dilemma when you simply can’t eat one more turkey sandwich, but don’t want to waste an ounce of food! If this describes your current situation, keep reading for my uncomplicated, old-fashioned turkey soup recipe that our kids loved!
Turkey soup uses leftover turkey, and even leftover veggies like corn, carrots and peas if you happen to have any kicking around like we did, to make the most delicious comforting soup. Charlie and Max each ate 2 bowls! You can make your own broth if you kept the bones etc. which is very simple to do. Simply remove any of the meat from the bones, set the meat aside, place the rest in a large pot, fill it with water (about 16-18 litres), add a quartered peeled onion, 2 peeled carrots, a couple whole celery stalks (cut in half if needed) and a few bay leaves to a boil and let it simmer for a few hours covered. Strain it through a colander into a large bowl (discard what is in the strainer) and you have homemade broth my friends! You can use it immediately in this soup or freeze it for up to a few months in resealable containers. It’s a great way to reduce food waste and create an amazing, wholesome base for your soup or other dishes requiring broth.
You can use pasta or you can make it gluten free (assuming your turkey wasn’t stuffed with bread) by substituting rice. I find it best to cook your pasta or rice separately and add it just at the end before serving as it otherwise soaks up a lot of liquid (which makes the rice or pasta mushy and turns your soup into a stew). You can adjust the recipe as needed depending on how much turkey you have: I suggest weighing or measuring the turkey first and adjusting the other ratios as needed!
On another note, I took some time to unplug this Christmas (hence why this is so late; I wanted to post it right after Christmas but was super intent on spending less time with my computer and more time with the kids!), and it was so nice to have a few days without my phone. Zero social media, all family. I highly recommend it! We are packing some of this soup out to the hills today along with a flask of hot chocolate and everything needed for a bon fire and are taking the kids tobogganing. I can’t wait! I hope your holidays have been filled with laughter, friends, family and all of your favourite foods. Ours were… with a few overtired tears to go with it all!
This turkey soup recipe uses up leftover turkey and veggies and is wholesome, healthy and the best type of comfort food during these cold winter months! If you don't have leftover veggies I recommend using frozen peas and corn but 1 cup of fresh diced carrots (simply add the diced carrots in with the celery if using fresh, not leftover, carrots). I recommend weighing or measuring your turkey first so that you can adjust the recipe if needed (ie: double the recipe if you have 2 pounds of turkey).
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3/4 cup uncooked small pasta (I used shell pasta)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, finely chopped (2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 litres stock (turkey, vegetable or chicken) (plus more to thin if needed)
- 1 lb. diced cooked turkey (3 cups)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups mixed veggies (corn, peas and carrots)*
- salt and pepper to taste
Tie the thyme and rosemary tightly together with cooking twine and set aside.
Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted water until al dente, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (I used a Staub cocotte) over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions are soft and transparent, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the celery is soft, another 5-8 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, stock, turkey and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 40 minutes. Remove bay leaves and herbs, stir in the veggies and pasta (if using), thin with additional stock if desired, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!