This is the best leftover turkey soup recipe that I make. The whole family loves this recipe. I think it's the creaminess that gets them, or maybe its the bacon. Turkey soup can sometimes taste gamey and strong. Adding the bacon and cream compliment and create the perfect balance.
It's not just for after Christmas!
By the time Thanksgiving and Christmas are done, so is my appetite for turkey leftovers! Honestly, I don't always want to continue to eat turkey after the holidays, for days on end! It becomes turkey overload. I make Puff Pastry Turkey Turnovers, and this turkey soup and enjoy this recipe much later in the year.
I always make a turkey carcass soup broth right away. Usually an Instant Pot is too small to fit a whole turkey in, so I make broth in 2 batches from the leftover turkey bones. Check out my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe. If you don't have an IP, then make broth using an easy Stovetop Turkey Broth, a more traditional way.
When the broth has cooled, I put it into plastic soft drink bottles or plastic containers and freeze them. I shred the leftover turkey meat and freeze it together mixed in the broth. This avoids the freezer burn if you are just freezing the turkey meat by itself. Just defrost and you're ready to make this soup weeks after turkey day!
How to make Leftover Turkey Soup
This is such an easy turkey soup recipe, the key is to make the turkey broth ahead of time. If you don't have turkey broth, just use chicken stock instead. It's so easy to sauté the veggies, throw in your turkey and broth and finish with cream. So easy that it's done in about 30 minutes.
You could easily double the amount of bacon in this recipe, for more of a smokey flavor in the soup. I've tried to use milk instead of whipping cream, but I find it becomes too watery and not creamy enough. Like most of my recipes, they are full flavor, and full cream. This recipe will easily feed 8 people for dinner.
There are just a few easy steps when making leftover turkey soup. Sauce the vegetables and bacon, make the easy butter and flour roux (as a thickener for the soup), add the broth and turkey meat, and finish with cream.
Roux is used as a thickener when making soups and sauces. Usually it requires mixing melted butter and flour, and cooking it for a few minutes before adding liquid (like milk) to thicken up. But this recipe takes a bit of a short cut, which requires less dishes to wash for you!
I make the roux while I sauté all the vegetables and bacon in butter, after they caramelize. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables until they're all coated. The flour needs to cook for a few minutes, and it will absorb all the butter, so don't skimp on the butter! It works perfectly in this recipe! Not done in the the traditional way, but it works perfectly and is so easy. Then you're ready to add the final ingredients finish your turkey soup.
- Make the turkey broth ahead of time, freeze and make soup weeks later
- Freeze the shredded turkey inside the broth to avoid freezer burn
- For a lower fat version, use milk instead of cream, but add extra cornstarch as thickener (as in recipe notes)
- Double the amount of bacon to ½ pound for more flavor
- Use chicken instead of turkey to make a tasty creamy chicken soup
A tasty recipe to enjoy any time of year, maybe even months later if freezing your broth. Potato and Bacon Leftover Turkey Soup recipe is a winner. A comfort food and the best way to use up turkey leftovers after the holidays. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- ¼ lb /250g bacon sliced
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- leftover turkey about 4 cups
- ½ cup flour
- 8 cups broth turkey or chicken
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups of whipping cream or use half and half
- 1 teaspoon thyme or sage
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and bacon. Sauce for around 5 minutes until it starts to caramelize.
- Add the potatoes and garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes. Sprinkle the flour through mixture while stirring, cooking for another 2 minutes. This is the fast roux for thickening.
- Stir in the turkey, bay leaf, thyme and soup broth into the ingredients. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes (until potatoes are done).
- Reduce heat, add whipping cream and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper and enjoy.