Holiday Leftovers’ Solution: Next Day Turkey Soup


Are Tupperware containers filled with leftovers from the holidays bombarding your refrigerator? Make room and reduce food waste by fixing a turkey soup with your leftovers! You can use any of your leftover thanksgiving vegetables like Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, and the most important ingredient: your leftover turkey.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  1. 8 cups chicken broth
  2. 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
  3. 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
  4. 1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 stalk, minced
  5. 1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 3 cups dark turkey meat
  8. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
  11. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Here are the steps:

  • Put the chicken broth, turkey, carrot halves, celery stalk, onion halves and 1 bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Dice the turkey meat. Make sure the meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soupspoon. (If preparing the soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. Top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep the meat moist.)
  • Before straining the broth, remove the large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve covered with wet cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Transfer the broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
  • In a large soup pot, heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Allow to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the minced carrots, celery and onions. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, 7 or 8 minutes.
  • Dice the leftover Thanksgiving vegetables. Add the sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add the Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam, 5 to 7 minutes. Let simmer for 5 more minutes.

And Voila!! You now have an alternative way to eat your leftovers, and your fridge is nice and tidy!


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