The one-pot recipe that uses up literally all your leftovers

A steaming bowl of this soup will nourish you after a period of well-deserved indulgence, says Molly Codyre

Wednesday 22 December 2021 14:37
<p>The key here is homemade stock </p>

The key here is homemade stock

The terms turkey and soup next to each other simply don’t feel right, but I promise this warming bowl will not only use up any leftover Christmas meat and vegetables, but will also nourish you after a period of well-deserved indulgence.

Born from the filling of a chicken pie I make on regular rotation, the inspiration for which came from Julius Roberts, this could easily be made with chicken if that’s your Christmas bird of choice. The key here is the homemade stock (although I won’t judge you for using pre-made stock if the thought of any extra time in the kitchen simply seems like too much). It brings such a rich depth and soothing note to this hearty soup.

Also, if you’re all aboard the gluttony train, all stops to indulgence-ville, then totally continue with the pie route. Use a little less stock and mix a butter and flour roux into the mix to help thicken it up a little. Wallop the whole lot into a large rectangular baking dish and top with a lid of puff pastry.

You can throw any leftover vegetables you have from the big day into this soup, but carrots, sprouts and other greens work best. You could even chuck in a few leftover potatoes towards the end to help bulk it out if you want. This is one of those completely versatile recipes that benefits from a touch of freestyling.

Leftover turkey soup


All your leftover turkey meat and the carcass

1 onion

1 carrot

2 leeks

3 stalks of celery

3 cloves of garlic, finely diced



Bay leaves

Vegetables (any you have leftover, plus some raw vegetables, such as carrots)

Knob of butter

Dash of cream

Couple tablespoons of dijon mustard


Begin by making the stock. Strip the turkey of its meat and set aside. Put the carcass in a large pot with a carrot, one leek, the onion, lashings of salt and peppercorns and cover with two litres of water, or thereabouts. Simmer away for as long as you want – at least an hour. You can also turn the heat off and leave the stock to further deepen in flavour overnight (I recommend leaving it in the oven with the heat turned off for this part).

Strain the stock before you use it to separate the bits from the liquid and set the liquid aside. Discard the carcass and vegetables.

Chop the other leek into discs and the celery into half moons. Prep any of the other vegetables you’ll be using as well by cutting them into bite-size pieces. Remove the thyme leaves from the stalks.

Heat a knob of butter in a saucepan on medium heat until it has melted. Add the leek and celery and saute until soft. Add any raw vegetables here, too, such as carrots. One they have cooked down a little, add the garlic and fry it off so it loses its bitter raw taste. Add the turkey (or chicken) meat and fry for a couple more minutes. Add around 1.5 litres of the stock and the thyme and bubble away for around 20 minutes on a low heat. Once this has all bubbled away nicely, add in any of the already cooked leftover vegetables – such as roasted sprouts or carrots – and leave to bubble for a further five minutes. Mix in one or two tablespoons of Dijon mustard and a dash of cream and season with salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust as appropriate (you might want to add more salt, one more spoonful of mustard or a touch more pepper). If you’re hoping to turn this mix into a pie, add the roux now to thicken the sauce.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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