One thing I love about Thanksgiving? Its main course is a meal that just keeps giving. Make the most of your Thanksgiving day leftovers with a few delicious recipes like this one for Creamy Leftover Turkey and Mushroom Soup.
My family just got back from our whirlwind Thanksgiving tour! Spending time with relatives on both sides of our family is a huge blessing and one of the reasons I love Thanksgiving. It’s so nice to have a holiday in which we are almost forced to take a step back from our busy lives and spend time together.
Like every Thanksgiving I can remember, the food was exceptional. From mashed potatoes with gravy to homemade stuffing, all my favorites were there! A few new foods also made an appearance – fried turkey was my uncle’s contribution to the meal we shared with my side of the family and I took my traditional green bean casserole up a notch by swapping out the can of mushroom soup I typically use for a made from scratch sauce.
And just like every Thanksgiving I can remember, we had plenty of leftovers to take home with us. Although my family could easily just eat the leftovers as-is, I wanted to try and re-purpose them. So with me I brought back both a few prepared items – turkey, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and mashed potatoes – and leftover ingredients – milk, butter, chicken broth, garlic and mushrooms.
After scanning through the leftovers and ingredients, plus taking a quick perusing in my own fridge and pantry, I came to one conclusion – I can make a mean turkey and mushroom soup!
Living in Michigan, its hard to not love soup. Its such a great way to warm up on cold winter days and its an easy way to use up all sorts of leftover ingredients or about-to-go-bad veggies. Homemade soups though are still something I’m learning to figure out and I haven’t shifted too far away from chicken noodle. Lucky for me, turkey and chicken are pretty similar, so I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a culinary stretch to swap out the chicken in my standard soup recipe for turkey and make a few slight modifications to utilize some of my additional leftover ingredients as well.
My basic framework to build a quality soup: Start by sauteing carrots, onion and celery. Add your extra veggies. Add your protein. Add your broth. Add your grain. Cook. Add your milk (if you want a creamier soup). Add favorite seasonings throughout. Viola! A delicious soup! (Please note: I don’t know if this ALWAYS works, its just what my current methodology has been)
- 4 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 cup mushroom pieces
- 2 cups leftover turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
- 5 cups less sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups old-fashioned egg noodles
- 1 cup 2% milk
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg
- In a stock pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, and onion to pot. Saute for approximately 3-5 minutes or until onions begin turning translucent.
- Add mushrooms to pot. Saute for an additional 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and turkey to the pot. Stir. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg as desired.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add old-fashioned noodles. Cook for approximately 12 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat. Slowly add in milk, stirring frequently.
- Add more salt, pepper, and nutmeg if desired.
- Place pot back on medium heat and bring back to a boil.
- Serve and enjoy!
Please note that the noodles do not fit perfectly into a 1 cup measuring cup. I filled as best I could; however, actual amount is probably less than a full 3 cups.
The result? A hearty, flavorful soup that everyone enjoyed. My boys, who aren’t always that excited about mixed dishes – especially ones with brazenly visible vegetables! – even enjoyed it, and that’s saying something. I of course can’t take all the credit. The turkey was already loaded with flavor thanks to my mother-in-law who mastered the art of the Thanksgiving turkey years ago. Without that key leftover, this soup wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing.
Looking for a way to re-use your leftovers? Consider giving this soup a try.
How do you like to utilize your leftovers from a big holiday meal?