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Leftover Turkey Soup

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This is not Grandma’s leftover turkey soup!

Growing up I was never a fan of the leftover turkey soup which alway found it’s way to our table after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Not that it wasn’t good. I just found it really boring.

If you like your meals to be a bit more interesting, you’ll most definitely enjoy this, my version of leftover turkey soup much more.

Turkey soup

No need for boring leftover turkey. Throw it in this easy to make soup!

Make this leftover turkey soup recipe your own…

I like to think of new ways to use up left-over turkey. When you cook as much curry as I do, it’s not difficult.

So you can and should do the same with this leftover turkey soup recipe. The basics are there but use this recipe as a guide and add more or less of the spice and chillies to taste. 

You could add more chilli powder to taste for example as I do. 

Making the stock for this leftover turkey soup…

This is meant to be an easy post-Christmas recipe that you can quickly throw together.

So use chicken stock or even stock cubes if that is more convenient. 

But if you really want this leftover turkey soup to be amazing, make your own turkey stock! It’s easy and there is a lot less waste.

Just remove as much meat as you can from the carcass. Then simply add a couple chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, a couple celery sticks, two inches of ginger sliced into coin shapes and smashed, six smashed cloves of garlic and enough water to cover/ Add a handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. Easy!

Pour the stock through a sieve and use immediately in this leftover turkey soup, store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze.

Step by step photographs…

Frying mustard seeds

Infuse the mustard seeds in oil over high heat until they begin to crackle.

Adding curry leaves to pan

Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the curry leaves. Allow to infuse into the sauce for about 30 seconds.

Frying onions.

Stir in the chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger pate along with the chopped chillies.

Adding stock

Stir in the stock, soy sauce, sugar and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then add the turkey meat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Finished leftover turkey soup

Season with salt to taste and garnish with chilli flakes and coriander.

Leftover turkey soup

Dig in!

Looking for other ways to use up leftover turkey? Try these…

Peshwari Turkey curry


Yield: 4 - 6

Leftover turkey soup

Turkey soup

For a creamier soup with a few more calories, you could add about 200ml of double cream.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves, fresh or frozen
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 fresh green chillies - finely chopped
  • 750ml (3 cups) homemade turkey stock or shop bought stock
  • 450g (3 cups) diced leftover turkey, approx.
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 400cl coconut milk
  • 1 small bunch chopped coriander
  • 3 limes, quartered
  • 2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over high heat.
  2. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, reduce the heat to medium high and throw in the curry leaves.
  3. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onion and fry for about five minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic pastes along with the chopped chillies and fry for a further minute.
  5. Pour in the turkey stock, the soy sauce, sugar and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the turkey meat, reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with the chilli flakes and the chopped coriander (cilantro).
  8. Then stir in the juice of one of the limes. More lime juice can be added at the table to taste.
  9. There you have it. An awesome soup in minutes!

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I hope you enjoy this homemade, leftover turkey soup recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 


Friday 19th of July 2013

I take it that the 400cl should be 400ml ? :-)

Dan Toombs

Saturday 27th of July 2013

You got that right! :-)

Calogero Mira

Saturday 15th of December 2012

Turkey, lime and coconut soup with turkey leftovers? Maybe with fairtrade lime and coconut.

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