The best part about holiday cooking: the leftovers, especially turkey. This delicious, chunky, vegetable-studded soup is my favorite way of putting it to good use. I mean, what’s not to love? Creamy and comforting, with tender bits of meat, you really can’t go wrong. Plus, it comes together super quick, so you can get back to spending time with your family.
You could use the turkey carcass to make a stock with a mirepoix of carrot, celery, and onions—or go the easier route of using a store-bought broth. Make sure to grab a low-sodium option as that will give you more control over the seasoning.
The creaminess in this soup comes from a roux, which is when equal parts of flour and fat are cooked together. This helps thicken the sauce without the addition of dairy. It’s mild, nutty, and adds a nice silky texture to the broth. Feel free to throw in any turkey drippings from the night before—that will add a ton of flavor to your soup.
I like to serve it with a generous sprinkle of herbs, like parsley or cilantro, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for some heat. You can even eat it over rice to make this an extra hearty meal. This soup is open to interpretation, so feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings. —Rachel Gurjar
2 or 3
extra-virgin olive oil
medium white onion, finely diced
garlic cloves, minced
medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
celery sticks, finely diced
(32-ounce) box low-sodium chicken or turkey stock (or homemade)
cooked turkey meat, shredded or cut into large chunks (about 4 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, lemon wedges, and red pepper flakes, for garnish
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery and sweat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the vegetables are coated. Slowly pour in the chicken or turkey stock, stirring continuously to break up any lumps of flour. Add the turkey meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced a little and the soup has slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
Rachel is an immigrant from Mumbai, India now based out of Brooklyn, New York. She is a chef, photographer and food editor who loves to cook and develop delicious recipes from her culture and beyond. In her free time, you will find her exploring street food around the city!