Are there any foods that immediately bring you back to your childhood? As soon as you think about that food, you’re immediately transported back to your childhood kitchen smelling that yummy recipe. This Leftover Turkey Soup is that food for me. For as long as I can remember, my mom has always made this soup the day after Thanksgiving and I look forward to it every year. The broth simmering away on the stove fills the entire house with a comforting and intoxicating aroma that makes my mouth water and stomach rumble.
There is a lot of flexibility in this recipe, so feel free to turn this soup into your own. The amount of water and vegetables is really dependent on the size of your turkey, so use your best judgement but I’ve provided some guidelines below. If it looks like there isn’t enough water or vegetables, add more! Broccoli, mushrooms, and green beans are the vegetables my mom always uses in her soup, but you can use kale, spinach, squash, or just about any kind of vegetable you like.
My other favorite way to use leftover turkey is this Turkey Breakfast Hash.
Leftover Turkey Soup (AIP/ Paleo)
For the Broth:
Leftover turkey frame (neck & giblets removed)
8 – 16 cups of water (8 cups for 10-12lb turkey, 16 cups for 13-20lb turkey)
2 celery stalks
1 onion, peeled & cut in half
3 cloves of garlic
3 – 4 tsp salt
1 – 2 tsp black pepper (omit for elimination-phase AIP)
For the Soup:
1 – 2lbs of carrots
4 – 5 cups broccoli florets
1 – 2 cups mushrooms, cut in half
2 – 3 cups cut green beans
Leftover turkey meat
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
To make the broth base for the soup, start by cleaning out the turkey frame. Remove the neck, giblets, and any remaining stuffing from the inside of the frame. Remove any leftover meat and set aside to use in the soup. Once clean, place the turkey frame inside a large stock pot. Peel the onion and cut in half and peel the garlic cloves. Place the celery stalks, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper inside the stock pot and cover with water.
Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce it to simmer and cook for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours, depending on the size of the frame. The larger the turkey, the longer it will take to simmer. Once done, carefully remove the frame and vegetables from the pot.
To make the soup, use a sieve to carefully strain the broth into another pot. Add in the carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, green meats, leftover turkey meat, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.