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Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe with Lemon & Pasta

A few days ago all we could think about was getting our hands on some turkey. Then we feasted, and now we can’t wait to get at the leftovers.  I know some people who cook their own turkey even if they are going to someone else’s house just so they can have leftover turkey at home… Okay, I’ll admit that when I go out of my own home for Thanksgiving, I do exactly that.

It’s Colleen here today with a delicious soup recipe to help you use up some of that leftover turkey. However, I will let you in on a little secret. This “leftover” turkey soup is so delicious that you’re going to want to make it more often than once a year! And if anyone’s feeling a little under the weather, THIS soup makes the best medicine!

Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe

My 10-year-old daughter Samantha has been making her own stock since she was about 7. I literally sit back and kick my feet up anytime we have anything she can use to make stock and let her have at it. During Thanksgiving dinner, she announced to all of our guests that they had to give her back the bones from their plates, lol.

As soon as the kitchen was cleaned up, that girl got down to business. She used my biggest pot, the one that I have to keep in the garage because its so huge…the one I photographed my now 13-year-old son in when he was about 6 months old. Six hours later, she had 256 ounces of stock — that’s what she told me anyway, lol! It took me a minute to figure it out… but that’s 2 gallons!

So the next day I asked her for some of her 2 gallons of stock, and I made this soup while she played with her BFF.

Turkey Soup with Lemon & Pasta

It’s light and so full of flavor — a perfect day after Thanksgiving soup! If you hosted, I guarantee you have some carrots and celery laying around. You may have made your own stock, or you have a box in your pantry. Either one works. The addition of lemon brightens it up beautifully. I threw in some spinach since we didn’t have it on Thanksgiving and my kids like it in soups. Who couldn’t use some extra vitamins, right?

Right after I made this, four kids inhaled a bowlful each. That right there tells you something — kids like coming to our house, and being my guinea pigs!

I hope you make this leftover turkey soup recipe and love it as much as we did! 

Leftover Turkey Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Colleen Kennedy
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This soup fits the bill for a light dinner, a quick lunch or as a cure for what ails you!
  • 2 TBS grapeseed or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 8-10 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 stalk fresh Rosemary (if you have it)
  • 6-10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 2-3 cups cooked small pasta like rings, ditalini or other small noodles
  1. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the stock, lemon, peel and rosemary and bring to a boil.
  4. Taste the broth and adjust (with salt, pepper and extra lemon, if you like.)
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot. (If you have a ton of stock, go right ahead and cook it in your soup; if you don’t, then cook it separately, since the pasta will soak up a portion of your broth.)
  6. Remove rosemary, add spinach and remove from heat.
  7. Drain pasta; add it to the pot and serve.
Use 8 cups of stock if you are cooking pasta separately, and 10 if you are cooking it in the same pot. If your stock is homemade, I would leave out the onion. If it’s store-bought, add it for extra flavor.

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