Perfect Leftover Turkey Soup

With a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers, what better way to put all of them to use than to combine them in a soup.
By Kathy Bechtel

Leftover Turkey Soup

In culinary school, we learned the formal definitions of the various types of soups. One specific type is a panade, which incorporates bread crumbs as a thickening agent. This term is also used to refer to the use of bread crumbs as a binding agent in general, for anything from quenelles to meatballs. Even the canederli  dumplings and bread gnocchi we see on our culinary bike tours would qualify. The well-known soup from Tuscany, Pappa al Pomodoro, is an example of a panade.

With a refrigerator full of Thanksgiving leftovers, what better way to put all of them to use than to combine them in a soup. A few years ago I threw in the stuffing as well, and I’ve been making this ‘panade’ soup every year since. Even my kids enjoy it, all the while they are insisting they are tired of turkey.

A nice change this year was the addition of the dijon mustard. I found a recipe in the “Silver Spoon” Italian cookbook for a turkey stew with mustard, and it provided a nice little zing to the soup, and a new flavor element to counteract turkey fatigue. It is common in both Italy and France to serve dijon mustard along with turkey.

This is not a recipe to follow strictly – in Italy, you would use what you have on hand. If you don’t have fennel, don’t go out and buy it. If you have something that you think would make a great addition, add it. Use more meat, less stuffing, whatever uses up those leftovers.

The Best Leftover Turkey Soup
 
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Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped into ¼ inch dice
  • 1 leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced, rinsed in a large bowl to remove grit
  • 1 bulb fennel, tough outer parts removed, chopped into ¼ inch dice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups (1.5 l) turkey stock, bring to a boil before using
  • 1 pound (0.5 kg) turkey meat, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 cups (150-200g) stuffing
  • Any leftover roasted vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Any leftover gravy
  • ¼ cup (60g) dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion, leek and fennel. Saute until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the hot turkey stock, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the turkey meat, stuffing, roasted vegetables, gravy and dijon mustard. Simmer until heated through, season with salt, pepper and additional mustard if desired, and serve.

Kathy Bechtel

Kathy Bechtel’s obsession with food and cooking began as a teenager. After years following a traditional career path as a telecommunications engineer, she left to attend culinary school and wine training, and is now combining her passions for food and wine, the outdoors, and travel as owner and Culinary Tour Director of Italiaoutdoors. In this role, Kathy leads small bicycle, skiing and walking tours that explore the authentic regional cuisines, local products and undiscovered wines of Northeastern Italy.

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