Use leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and any bread or dinner rolls to make this soul soothing cream of turkey soup. Have a few random carrots and mushrooms rolling around in the drawer of your fridge? Add them in too! In 30 minutes you can have a hearty dinner without wasting any of those leftovers.
Giving New Life to Leftovers from Thanksgiving Recipes
Our mission is to stop food waste at home, especially during the holidays, when families gather for that big massive feast!
When using leftover turkey for a new meal, the biggest secret is to make sure it tastes COMPLETELY different than your holiday meal. Because let’s face it – holiday leftovers never taste as good as it did the first time around! Nobody wants to relive that same meal four nights in a row!
Also in this Giving New Life to Leftover Turkey series:
- Leftover Turkey: The Bobbie Sandwich
- Leftover Turkey Bibimbap Buddha Bowl
- Leftover Turkey Cranberry BBQ Sandwiches
- Leftover Turkey Thai Buddha Bowl
- Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
- Leftover Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Ingredients for the Best Cream of Turkey Soup
These are also all ingredients that you might have leftover from Thanksgiving!
Mashed Potatoes: Mashed Potatoes will help this soup become extra creamy, creating an unbeatable texture. Check out our very best mashed potato recipe here, incase you need a fresh batch!
Aromatics: Onions and garlic, two things you likely have on hand from all of the holiday cooking. Leeks work great as well, in place of onions.
Veggies: You can pretty much use any leftover vegetable to add depth to this soup, but our favorites are carrots, mushrooms, and celery. All are totally optional, but if I had to guess, you likely have a few random veggies hanging out in your fridge.
Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth will be your friend here, but if you don’t have either, just use water! If using water, just up your spiced a bit!
Tips to make Garlic Croutons
- Choose your bread: Leftover dinner rolls, sourdough, or a baguette, truly any leavened bread will work! Older bread will toast up and bake quicker than fresh bread. The smaller the bread cubs are diced, the quicker they will also bake up.
- Fat: Choose the best fat for your croutons. A mixture of oil and butter will leave your croutons full of flavor, but will also help to get that beautiful color.
- Flavors: Best part about homemade croutons? You can make them totally your own! The only non-negotiable to croutons is salt. You must have salt! We are going with simple garlic croutons here, but feel free to switch it up. Add everything bagel seasonings, ranch seasonings, curry powder, smoked paprika. The world is your crouton oyster.
- Storing Croutons: Croutons can be made ahead of time and stored at room temperature. The key is to keep moisture and humidity away, otherwise their texture will be affected. Once fully baked, let the croutons cool completely at room temperature before storing them. Store in an air tight container or a resealable bag, but be sure to squeeze all of the air from the bag. These can be stored for 2 weeks at room temperature. Beyond 2 weeks, freeze your croutons in a freezer safe container and heat up in a 350 degree oven until warmed and crisp.
Leftover Cream of Turkey Soup
Cream of Turkey Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 large celery stalk diced
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- 2 cups leftover turkey diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups leftover bread cubed
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder more to taste
Cream of Turkey Soup
- In a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat add olive oil.
- Add onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, dried thyme, parsley, and sprinkle with a little salt. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until veggies are softened and onions are translucent.
- Add 3 cups of broth and the mashed potatoes and stir until the potatoes are mostly dissolved and the broth is smooth.
- Add diced turkey and add another cup of broth a little at a time, if you want your soup thinner.
- Bring everything to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low and cook until heated through, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, add cubed bread and toss with melted butter and olive oil until evenly coated.
- Add salt and garlic powder and toss again. Taste and adjust for more seasonings.
- Divide up bread between two baking sheets to give the bread space to crisp up.
- Bake 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy and golden brown.
- Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Check out the post for tips on storing croutons!
Oh my goodness! This is fabulous. I used the veggies you suggested and Wow! Very tasty. I made fresh rolls, so I didn’t add the croutons today, but will next time I make it! There is something special about homemade croutons! I added a half can of evaporated milk and some extra potatoes and it was more like a chowder, but it worked very well. I have never had a creamy turkey soup, but this is going to be one of my new go-to recipes I believe. The best part is that I usually have everything on hand in the pantry!
( I canned up a bunch of turkey when I hit a good sale) Thank you!