next day turkey vegetable soup

Next Day Turkey Vegetable Soup

I have something to tell you guys and you aren’t going to like it. But it’s the truth and I think we have a relationship built on trust and honesty, so here goes…

The fact is, in a few days, you are going to be sick of Thanksgiving leftovers.

I know. I know. Right now, that seems like an impossible outcome. Today is the day before Thanksgiving, you are so excited for all things turkey and gravy you can’t even fathom not wanting that food. But I promise you, someday in the near future (Saturday? Sunday? Monday?) you are going to go to the fridge, stare in the face of that giant pile of slowly-dwindling leftovers and say, “Meeeehhhhhhh. I don’t want another giant plate of carbs.”

And you’ll remember this post and think, “Gee wizz, gosh golly! I wish I would have used some of those leftovers in that soup.”

The idea behind this soup is to take the remnants from the Thanksgiving table and combine them seamlessly into a delicious, healthful turkey vegetable soup. To make the ideal next day soup, you have to go into the kitchen with an open mind. Have a big pile of roasted Brussels sprouts? In the pot! A leftover platter of steamed green beans? Perfect! A bunch of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top? Meh. Maybe not. Just use your best judgement. Or, if you are leftoverless, just make it using the frozen veggies I recommend in the recipe.

A word on stock before I share the recipe. And that word is “homemade”. You worked hard for hours and hours to create the perfect Thanksgiving bird, don’t let the regal thing’s glory die once it’s carved. Make sure to use the flavorful bones and skin to make delicious turkey stock that you can use as the base for this soup. There are lots of how-tos out there (this is a good one) and it may seem like the last thing you want to do after dinner on Thursday, but I promise the 10 minutes worth of work is worth it. Put the stock onto simmer and then go off and enjoy a cup of coffee and slice of pumpkin pie with your family.

Next Day Turkey Vegetable Soup

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Makes: 10 servings

I think this soup is the perfect thing to simmer on the stove while you deck the halls on Black Friday. All the veggies help balance out the carb-overload from the day before.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 12 ounces frozen lima beans
  • 10 ounces frozen corn
  • 10 ounces frozen green beans
  • 1-1/2 pounds potatoes, diced (about 3 large)
  • 1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups turkey broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic, onions, celery and carrots. Cook until just slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are all fork tender.
  3. Remove bay leaves and serve.

What’s your favorite way to use up holiday leftovers?



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