Leftover Turkey Soup

As most Americans, I had a ton of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving. I made sandwiches with it the day after Thanksgiving, I made stock from the bones and I gave lots of it to my three dogs (for them it was like winning the Megamillions Powerball Lottery) but I was still left with lots of good turkey meat.  I was raised in India where I was fed a steady diet of Hindu guilt at any food wastage because there were always the looming “children starving in China” (yes, in India too, we were told that there were starving children in China even when we had no dearth of our own starving masses!).  But after two or three days I was quite sick of turkey so I froze the meat in a Ziploc bag.

But look, what a difference a week makes – today, I suddenly felt that I no long despised turkey and was inspired to make soup with the leftover meat.  I didn’t have any standard soup recipe but I based it off of a chicken and vegetable soup that I learned from a Russian friend.  Of course, as usual, I added a few of my own ingredients and omitted a few from the Russian recipe to make use of what I had already available in the refrigerator and the pantry.  And given my Indian background, I added a dash of red chili flakes to help open up the taste buds a bit.  This soup is healthy, delicious, low fat, easy to make and nutritionally balanced – one bowl made a whole meal for me!


1.    Two cups of cooked/roasted Turkey meat
2.    1 medium sized white onion
3.    One white potato
4.    3-4 whole carrots or 10-12 small peeled baby carrots (the kind that is available in a bag)
5.    Two parsnips
6.    1/3 of a small head of cabbage
7.    2 ripe avocados
8.    A sprig of fresh rosemary
9.    2 cups of chicken broth (I had homemade broth)
10.    1/3 cup of jarred spaghetti sauce
11.    Kernels from 3 fresh corn cobs (or use frozen corn)
12.    Salt and pepper to taste
13.    1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
14.    2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
15.    One can of white beans


1.    In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil on low heat.

2.    Peel and dice the onion into small pieces.

3.    Pour the onion pieces into the pot and cook them on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

4.    While the onions are cooking, peel the potato and dice it into bite sized pieces.

5.    Pour the potato pieces into the pot and stir.

6.    Now chop the carrots into bite sized pieces.

7.    Pour the carrots into the pot and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

8.    While the carrots are getting cooked, peel the parsnips and chop them into bite sized pieces.

9.    Pour the parsnips into the pot and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

10.    Now chop the turkey pieces into bite sized pieces.

11.    Pour the chopped turkey meat into the pot and stir cook for 2-3 minutes

12.    Take the leaves of Rosemary off the stem and using a sharp knife give the rosemary leaves a rough chop and pour them into the pot and stir.

13.    Add the corn kernels to the pot and stir again.

14.    Now add the stock and stir the pot.

15.    Add the Spaghetti sauce and stir again.

16.    Add salt and freshly grated black pepper to the pot and let the liquids come up to a boil.

17.    While the soup is coming to a boil, chop the cabbage into bite sized pieces.

18.    Put the chopped cabbage into the pot.

19.    Open the can of beans and drain the water out of them. Rinse the beans under cold water and then add them to the pot of soup.
20.    Add red chili flakes and let the soup cook for another 2-3 minutes.
21.    Serve the soup while it is still hot and with a few slices of avocado on top. You can also add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. This soup is delicious and a chock-full of vitamins!

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  1. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Fri, 30/11/2012 - 23:39

    yummm. Soup is my absolute favourite meal! Yours looks delicious and chock-ful of healthful ingredients – definitely a one-dish meal!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sat, 01/12/2012 - 01:37

      Yup Shilpa – its easy to get to a one-dish meal when there is just me, alone at home…I finally done with all my left-over turkey (except for the goodies for the dogs!)

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