Use your leftover turkey to make a tasty soup that is equally delicious and easy to make. Great for a day in which you don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.
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Soup and sandwiches are typically the go-to choice for those looking to use up any leftover turkey.
But it doesn't have to be boring or hard to do.
For soup, I encourage you to try something a little bit different but without a lot of work.
It's a simple soup that uses orzo, along with homemade turkey stock (also easy), and some chopped up kale.
Here is what you will need for this soup.
- Dried orzo
- Leftover turkey
- Chopped kale
- Homemade turkey stock - see a slow cooker method
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon (optional)
This is one of those soups you can just eye ball the exact ingredients. Like in the instructions I saw throw in 2 handfuls of chopped kale (you could use spinach too). Adding kale to soup is one of the more simple ways to add more greens to your diet without virtually zero effort.
You could also add some lemon juice and zest. It would kind of be like an Avgolemono, which is a Greek soup with chicken, rice, and lemon.
Why do I use orzo for this soup? The shape of this pasta is similar to rice but it cooks faster. And after eating a heavy meal like Thanksgiving, its nice to have pasta the next day over rice. Just like rice, the orzo will absorb the flavor of the broth.
For the best orzo, look to see if it's made from bronze dies.
🦃 Turkey Stock
The best thing about this recipe is that it uses homemade turkey stock. It's easier to make than you think.
You just save up all of your bones, giblets, and neck. After your meal, you can
- Throw all the bones, giblets, and neck into a slow cooker.
- Cover them with water.
- Put the lid.
- Cook them overnight.
Then the next day you are ready to make the soup after skimming any fat off the top of the broth.
You could also do in the Instant Pot. Same ingredients just put them in your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 2 hours. Natural release afterward. I allow the pot to cool enough before putting in the fridge. If you have the silicone lid for the Instant Pot it makes it even easier.
🍽️ More Leftover Turkey Recipes
Try these leftover turkey recipes as well.
- Leftover Turkey Fajitas
- Mini Shepherd's Pies
- Cranberry BBQ Turkey Sliders
- Leftover Thanksgiving on a Cracker
🔥 Reheating the Soup
Got leftover soup? It's likely that a lot of the liquid will be absorbed when you store the soup. You may need to add some water or more stock in order for it to be soup like. Or you could eat as is more like a pasta dish.
- 1 pound dried orzo
- 2 cups leftover turkey
- 2 handfuls chopped kale
- 6 cups homemade turkey stock
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Pour the turkey stock into a boil along with the orzo. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer.
- Stir regularly. When the orzo is just about done add the kale. You just need to wilt it.
- When the orzo is done, remove the from the heat. Add in the turkey. Stir it until the turkey is heated through. If you remove it from the fridge when you start the soup, that will help take the chill off it.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slow cook them overnight until the bones are soft enough you could break them
- Cook them in the Instant Pot for 1 hour on high pressure. Natural release
- Bring them to a boil in a stock pot, cover with a lid, and reduce and simmer for 3-4 hours