Leftover Thanksgiving Soup recipe by Felt Like A Foodie

Thanksgiving is now behind us and I keep running across articles about “repurposing” your Thanksgiving dinner.  This makes no sense to me.  The purpose of the food is to feed you, right?  So why can’t people just call the food exactly what it is…leftovers.

Apparently, this is the new “buzz” word that I can’t stand.    Are you familiar with this word?  It is in the same realm as “recycle”.  The best definition I could find is “The use of something for a purpose other than its original intended use.”  (And yes, that is a lame definition so I don’t want mail from all the English majors.)

Let’s see how could we repurpose Thanksgiving dinner?  I guess if you used the mashed potatoes my mother-in-law made as caulk.  (Just kidding – Joke#1)  Or maybe you could use my sister-in-law’s biscuits as garden stones?  (Joke #2, I didn’t even eat those rolls.)  Or the hot dogs one of the guests brought as, um, something else.  (Joke #3 – Okay, that one crossed the line.  Blame it on the Tryptophan.)

I wanted to be up on this trendy new word (because I am so hip) so I had to come up with part of the meal that HAS to be repurposed.  The best thing I could think of was the carcass. Unless you have that cool machine that made Frankenstein’s monster come to life, there is no way you are getting that bird to fly again.  (Do turkey’s fly?  I honestly never gave this a thought until now.)

Technically, I did not host Thanksgiving so I did not have all of the “leftovers” in my house to reuse.  So I did what all good daughter-in-laws do, I sent my husband to his mother’s house to raid the fridge while she was out.  (And by “out” I meant, not home.  Not, “out” like passed out from a bender.)

Repurposed Turkey Soup

Ingredients for your soup base

  1. 8-10 cups chicken broth (or mix of chicken and vegetable broth)
  2. Turkey carcass stolen from Thanksgiving hostess, broken down into smaller pieces to fit into your purse.
  3. 1 onion, rough chopped
  4. 2 carrots, rough chopped
  5. 1 stalk of celery, rough chopped,
  6. 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  7. 1 Bay leaf
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions for soup base:

  1. Place all ingredients into a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
  2.  Simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.  Check on it every half hour to make       sure that it isn’t reducing too much.
  3.   Skim off any fat off the top. (I forget the is step when there isn’t a lot of fat.)
  4.   When the time is up, remove all large pieces and strain into a large bowl.  DO NOT “REPURPOSE” THE VEGGIES.  THE FLAVOR IS GONE!

Ingredients for Soup

  1. 1 cup onion, chopped
  2.   1 cup celery, chopped
  3.  1 cup carrot, chopped
  4.  2 cloves garlic, minced
  5.  3 small red potatoes, peeled and diced
  6.  2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped into bite size pieces
  7. 4 sage leaves, minced
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 1 cup of leftover stuffing rolled into balls (like meatballs or dumplings); if they are too sticky add some breadcrumbs or panko.

Directions for soup

  1. In your wiped down stockpot, heat up olive oil.  Sweat your carrot, celery and onion for about 10 minutes over medium/low heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
  3.  Add potatoes, cook about 2-3 minutes.
  4.  Slowly add the prepared soup base.
  5.  Bring your heat back up and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. If you have any precooked veggies that you want to toss in from your holiday like green beans, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts add them now.
  7.  Right before serving, raise heat up to a slow boil.  Gently, drop in your stuffing dumplings.
  8. They will start to float after about 5 minutes, which tells you the soup is just about ready.
  9. Add the cooked turkey, add sage and taste for seasoning.  When you ladle up the soup, make sure you are gentle.  The dumplings are very fragile.


This is a great way to use up the remains of your feast.  I hope everyone had a great holiday.  I had a wonderful time with my in-laws especially my nieces, nephews, and favorite brother in law (he reads the blog so I have to mention him.)  I look forward to doing it all again next year.  (I’m a glutton for punishment.)