Bulk Up Vegetable Soup With Leftover Turkey

Whether you're roasting up a large turkey for the holidays or just a particularly festive family feast, there's a pretty good chance that you'll be left with plenty of leftovers after it's been carved and served. There are, of course, plenty of delicious ways to repurpose leftover turkey, from using it in stacked sandwiches to adding it to creative pot pies. But if you're looking for a particularly easy way to make the most out of the white and dark meat that remains after your turkey dinner, you can simply turn to a trusty pot of soup.

There's no more comforting dish than a warm bowl of vegetable soup, but by adding some bits of leftover turkey, you can instantly amp up the flavor while adding plenty of bulk to the brothy blend. The result? A robust and hearty stew that can stand alone as a meal in and of itself. A savory soup is the perfect easy dinner idea following a strenuously concocted holiday feast, and better yet, you can even incorporate your veggie leftovers into it, from carrots to potatoes. Why let anything go to waste?

The best part is that whipping up a soup with your leftover turkey can save you plenty of extra cooking time, given that your meaty ingredient has already been perfectly prepared. All you have to do is shred, cube, or slice the pieces and throw them in the pot to simmer.

Why soup works so well for leftover turkey

There are quite a few reasons why soup is such a great dish for showcasing leftover turkey, especially if the meat has dried out a bit — which, unfortunately, can be an all too common setback when it comes to this type of meat. For one thing, the liquidy broth serves to revitalize the turkey, instantly infusing moisture back into it and bringing the grainy, chewy bits of poultry back to their juicy glory. Given the versatile nature of the mildly flavored meat, turkey also works well with a range of flavors and ingredients, making it the ideal choice for savory soups stocked with different herbs and vegetables.

If you're looking for some ideas, you can turn to any one of Tasting Table's own treasure trove of recipes, from this orzo and turkey soup featuring chunks of celery and carrots to this fragrant turkey-tortilla soup filled with peppers, onions, and zesty spices. Of course, you can also use turkey as a replacement for chicken in any of your go-to soup dishes. And if you want to skip the kitchen prep altogether? Simply add your leftover turkey to any canned or prepackaged soup to create a deliciously hearty meal in a snap.