Enjoy our cream of turkey soup, made from leftover turkey. This hearty dish combines tender meat in a creamy, flavorful broth, perfect for warming up on a cold day.
What to do with the turkey leftovers? Make this fantastic cream of turkey soup with potatoes and lots of vegetables; it is a comforting and super delicious soup, a great way of using holiday turkey leftovers.
I love those Thanksgiving leftovers. In fact, I plan to use them even before I cook the main turkey meal. I can turn them into a turkey lasagna, whip up another leftover turkey pasta dish, or make my kids' favorite: this creamy turkey soup recipe.
Creamy soups are a win-win. They're not only delicious but also a quick and healthy way to use up leftovers. It's not just turkey; I often find veggies past their prime in my fridge. I toss them in a pot with some vegetable broth (and maybe a bit of dairy) and make a hearty soup.
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What does the cream of turkey soup taste like?
According to my son, this creamy turkey soup is like turkey fricassee, but in soup form - and without the mushrooms (he insists on that). I have to agree with him! If you're a fan of fricassee, you should definitely give this soup a try. You're going to love it!
- Stock: The key to a great soup lies in a good stock – the soup can only be as good as the stock it's made with. The best stock is the one you make at home. If you have leftover turkey, chances are you have some turkey bones, too. Use them for homemade turkey broth. Making stock is remarkably easy; it just requires time, with not much effort involved.
- Turkey leftovers: Take roughly two handfuls of shredded turkey meat, approximately 3.5 to 12.5 oz/ 150-350 g, depending on what you have and how much you'd like to use. You don't need to stress about exact measurements in this case. You can use either white or dark meat.
- Vegetables: Onion, one small carrot, leeks (3.5 ounces/ 150 g), using only the white parts.
- 2-3 celery stalks (adjust quantity based on size) or a small piece of celeriac (about 2 oz/ 60 g). Celeriac is a slightly better choice if you want this creamy turkey soup to maintain a pale color, but it's not mandatory.
- 2 potatoes (roughly 9 oz/ 250 g).
- Dairy: Butter (salted or unsalted, but adjust the salt accordingly), whole milk, and heavy cream.
- Spices and herbs: Bay leaves, dried rosemary and thyme, fresh parsley, nutmeg, fine sea salt, and ground pepper (white or black pepper).
- The red peppercorns you can see in the pictures are optional and more for decoration purposes; they make the soup look really festive.
Homemade turkey stock
- Ingredients: Simply place turkey carcass or bones in a large pot with a halved onion, 2-3 carrots, some celery stalks (or one piece of celeriac), black peppercorns, salt, bay leaves, and optional spices like cloves (about 3-4), juniper berries (about 6-7), and allspice berries (about 3-4) if available.
- Method: Cover everything with COLD water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer gently for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 for turkey bone broth.
- Strain well to remove bones, veggies, and spices. For a crystal-clear broth, strain again through a fine sieve lined with a clean cloth.
- Storage: You can use it immediately, refrigerate it (up to 4 days), or freeze it in portions (for months).
How to make cream of turkey soup?
Step 1: Chop the vegetables.
Step 2: Melt butter and sauté vegetables until softer in a large pot or Dutch oven.
Step 3: Add herbs, stock, and milk. Simmer softly for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Step 4: Blend the soup. Add shredded turkey and reheat. Adjust the taste.
Step 5: Add whisked heavy cream and the egg yolk. Don’t bring the soup to a boil anymore.
- Stock: To achieve the best flavor, ensure you use high-quality stock, either homemade turkey or chicken stock or a flavorful store-bought brand.
- Color: For a velvety and pale turkey cream soup, use only the green parts of the leek and celeriac instead of celery stalks. Also, use white pepper.
- Overheating: Remember, when adding the heavy cream and egg yolk mixture, remove the soup from the heat. Avoid allowing the soup to cook any further after this addition to maintain its desired texture and consistency.
- Immersion blender: It’s preferable to use an immersion blender for soups and other hot liquids.
- When using a food processor, you must follow some safety steps. Allow the soup to cool slightly, and blend it in batches. Hold a thick, folded kitchen towel over the top of the machine. Start blending, gradually increasing the speed. Repeat with additional batches. You have the choice of blending only the vegetables in the soup or the chunks of turkey as well.
Certainly, using store-bought stock is a convenient option. If you prefer not to make your stock, high-quality chicken stock is an excellent substitute. While ready-to-use turkey stock may be less common, chicken stock works perfectly as an alternative.
Sure. Use chicken leftovers or rotisserie chicken and chicken broth.
Storage: Allow the creamy leftover turkey soup to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
Refrigerate the turkey cream soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freeze leftover soup in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge.
Reheat on the stovetop: Pour the cream of turkey soup into a saucepan and gently warm it over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it's heated through.
Reheat in the microwave: Place soup in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap (leave a small vent), and reheat in short intervals, stirring between each, until it's hot.
What to serve with it?
Cream of turkey soup pairs well with a variety of side dishes, depending on your preferences and the occasion. Here are some suggestions:
- Crusty bread or dinner rolls: A warm baguette, a crusty loaf of soda bread, or soft yeast rolls are perfect for dunking into the creamy soup.
- Salad: A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the soup’s richness. A Caesar salad or a side of mixed greens works well.
- Vegetable sides: Steamed or roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, or green beans.
- Homemade biscuits with cheddar cheese and fresh herbs make for a delightful accompaniment.
- Crumbled crispy bacon bits sprinkled on top add extra flavor and texture.
- Grilled cheese sandwich or other sandwiches.
- Herbed white rice, a wild rice blend, brown rice, or quinoa: A serving of herbed rice or quinoa can be a hearty and nutritious accompaniment.
What else can I cook with leftover turkey meat?
Cream of Turkey Soup
- soup pot
- Immersion blender Note 1
- 1 medium onion
- 1 thick leek only the white part, 3.5 oz/ 150 g
- 1 piece celeriac or 3-4 celery sticks, 2 oz/ 60 g, Note 2
- 1 small carrot
- 2 potatoes about 9 oz/ 250 g
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 ¼ cups chicken or turkey stock, 750 ml
- 1 cup whole milk 250 ml
- 2 cups turkey meat shredded, about 9 oz/ 250 g, Note 3
- ⅓ cup heavy cream 75 ml
- 1 egg yolk
- a few gratings of nutmeg
- fine sea salt and ground white pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- red peppercorns optional
- Chop vegetables: Chop the onion. Halve the leek white lengthwise and slice the halves thinly. Chop the celery/celeriac, carrot, and potatoes into small cubes.
- Sauté: Melt butter in the pot. Add vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, adding a splash of water halfway through. Stir often. The vegetables should become softer but not take any color.
- Simmer: Add bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, stock and milk. Cover with a lid, leaving a crack open, bring to a boil, and simmer softly for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Blend the soup (Note 4). Return to the stove and add the shredded turkey. Simmer until the turkey meat is heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Adjust the taste with nutmeg, salt, and white pepper.
- Thicken the soup: In the meantime, whisk heavy cream and egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk this mixture into the soup. Don't let the soup come to a boil anymore.
- Adjust: Remove from heat, adjust the taste again, and stir in the parsley. Sprinkle with a few red peppercorns if desired. Serve immediately.
- Immersion blender: It’s preferable to use an immersion blender for soups and other hot liquids. When using a food processor, you must follow some safety steps. Allow the soup to cool slightly, and blend it in batches. Hold a thick, folded kitchen towel over the top of the machine. Start blending, gradually increasing the speed. Repeat with additional batches.
- Using celeriac and only the white part of the leek keeps the soup pale.
- Turkey: Between 3.5 and 12.5 oz/150-350 g is fine; use as much as you have. White or dark meat are both great.
- You can blend the soup before or after adding the turkey. Personally, I prefer to leave the turkey pieces as they are.