This leftover turkey soup recipe is a delicious and simple way to use up leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken! It is flavoured with onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves and parsley evoking the memories of homemade soups your granny used to make! It is also extremely speedy, wholesome and satisfying!
If you still have more leftover turkey in your fridge, give my Chicken and Dumpling Soup a try but use turkey!
Every year I buy a small turkey for Thanksgiving to make sure I have as little leftovers as possible. I also prefer a small turkey as it cooks faster and doesn’t dry out as much.
No matter how small my turkey is, I still end up with leftovers. So this year I decided to finally share a few of my leftover turkey recipes. This simple turkey soup is the first one since it’s so easy and requires barely any ingredients.
What ingredients go into leftover turkey soup?
I always start my soup base with three main vegetables. Onions, celery and carrots with a choice of herb and this time I went with fresh thyme. I still had some left from the big Thanksgiving dinner. You can use dried thyme just as successfully.
I also add bay leaves and a clove of garlic for an aromatic and delicious soup.
The recipe for this soup is based in the traditional chicken noodle soup but I added a little twist. Besides a homemade turkey stock I add leftover turkey pieces and instead of traditional noodles I throw in half a cup of giant couscous also known as Israeli couscous or pearl couscous.
Giant couscous is a perfect choice as it has the same taste as pasta, It looks great and it’s so fun to eat! If you can’t find it, regular noodles will work as well.
How do I make easy turkey soup?
When I say this soups is easy I am not exaggerating in the least! The method is very simple and it only takes about 30-35 minutes to make. The turkey is already cooked and the vegetables and couscous cook fast!
There are a few things I’d like to mention, which make this soup extra flavourful. I start by sauteing the vegetables in a mix of olive oil and butter. Do use butter! It adds incredible flavour.
I love using homemade stock that’s been made using leftover turkey carcass and aromatics. You can definitely use already made stock or a stock cube. Not everything has to be homemade. I often opt for a stock cube myself.
Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary and bay leaves also contribute to a beautiful aroma and a delicious broth.
Giant couscous only takes 10 minutes to cook just like any pasta, so I throw it in the broth after it just boils. I take the soup off the heat as soon as Israeli couscous is soft.
Sprinkling the turkey soup with some freshly chopped parsley or dill before serving is a real treat!
What to serve with soup
This turkey soup is delicious on its own or with a bread roll. However, if you are up for something more adventurous, try this soup with my garlic cheesy rye toast.
All you have to do is to rub sliced rye or any bread of your choice with a clove of garlic sliced in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with your favourite grated cheese and broil in an oven or a toaster oven until melted and golden.
More recipes to use up leftover turkey and mashed potatoes
- Chicken Pot Pie with Roasted Vegetables (Use leftover turkey instead)
- Salmon Cakes (Use leftover mashed potatoes)
- Hearty Mulligatawny Soup (leftover turkey)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion or 2 shallots
- 1 carrot, large
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 sprigs thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1.5 litre/6 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 75g/1/2 cup giant/pearl couscous
- 250g/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Saute chopped onion, celery, carrots and a clove of garlic with thyme leaves in oil and butter over low heat for 5 minutes. Add turkey or chicken stock, cooked turkey, bay leaves and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the giant couscous or noodles and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat until the couscous is tender. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
- Homemade or ready made turkey or chicken stock is suitable.
- You can use noodles instead of Israeli couscous