One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers, don’t you agree? And, the day after Thanksgiving, instead of shopping on crazy Black Friday, I make my first pot of turkey soup.
It’s “my first pot” because even though I cook the entire turkey carcass in my giant stock pot, it makes so much broth that I save some of it in the freezer for another batch later. My Harvest Turkey Soup is made from leftover turkey stock from earlier roasted turkey adventures.
Did you see my post the other day called Grateful for Common Days? If you did, you will remember this:
A bag of colorful Harvest Pasta! So pretty, don’t you think? When I found it at Cost Plus World Market a few weeks ago, I knew I would make it into something special.
So I opened the bag and poured it into a bowl and snapped the photo above. The bowl is on a wooden crate I’ve been using for my food photography of late and I thought maybe it would look even prettier just strewn across the crate. So I did…
I got a little crazy with this, so check out Grateful for Common Days for more pasta art.
In the meantime, here’s a close-up of the beautiful fall leaves in brown, green and gold and the orange pumpkins that make up Harvest Pasta.
And, here they are cooked up in a bowl of my Harvest Turkey Soup. So pretty! I think the “secret” to any turkey soup is to cook the noodles separately. Whether you use a specialty pasta noodle like this Harvest Pasta or regular, traditional egg noodles, adding the cooked pasta to the soup when you are ready to serve keeps the noodles at that perfect al dente’ texture – slightly chewy, holding their shape.
In my early days of making turkey soup after Thanksgiving (and we are talking the Dark Ages folks!), I didn’t know this trick. So, I’d whip up a pot of turkey soup, everyone would eat a bowl plus we’d have leftovers because it makes so much. The next day I’d bring the soup to a simmer to reheat it for another meal and the noodles would be slightly limp and definitely not al dente’. By the third day of reheating the soup, the noodles would be mush.
So, I started making the noodles separately and adding them to the soup bowl, then adding the turkey soup to the bowl. I even store the leftovers separately – turkey soup in one container, cooked pasta noodles in another container. If you make a really large batch of Harvest Turkey Soup (and this recipe makes a large batch), I recommend this method unless you are feeding a crowd and don’t expect to have leftovers.
Here’s a photo collage to pin to your Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing! Harvest Turkey Soup – the perfect soup for the day after Thanksgiving!
If you don’t have a turkey carcass leftover from Thanksgiving, no worries. I’ve adapted this recipe so that you can make it using easily available ingredients from the grocery store; except, of course, the beautiful Harvest Pasta – that’s definitely a seasonal specialty item! Just substitute your favorite noodle instead.
Here’s the recipe for Harvest Turkey Soup:
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (I used prepared baby carrots, already peeled, and sliced them on the diagonal)
- 2 cups chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 16 cups turkey stock or chicken stock or broth
- 4 cups cubed cooked (leftover) turkey meat (I used breast meat)
- 1 tablespoon Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt (this salt has herbs and spices added to it - the ingredient list on the package does not identify them!); regular salt can be substituted
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ tablespoon ground black pepper (omit if using Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt)
- 16 to 18 ounces of dried pasta noodles (I used Harvest Pasta from Cost Plus World Imports)
- Add oil to a large stockpot and turn heat to medium.
- Add carrots, celery and onion; sweat vegetables over medium heat until onions are translucent (about 5 to 8 minutes).
- Add turkey stock, turkey meat and spices and stir to combine.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through (about 20 minutes).
- In the meantime, cook pasta in a separate pot per package instructions (do not over cook), about 5 to 7 minutes in boiling, salted water; then drain.
- When ready to serve, divide pasta into soup bowls and ladle turkey soup stock over each bowl of noodles.
Need more leftover turkey inspiration? Check out these posts from Toot Sweet 4 Two’s archives:
Turkey Pull-Apart Pot Pie – can you tell by the photos that this is an older? But, it’s a goodie!
Another oldie but goodie, Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie comes together in minutes – just pile the leftovers on top of each other and heat in the oven!