Turkey Soup

bowl of asian turkey soup with chopsticks
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Let’s talk turkey. As in what to do with all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Our suggestion? This wholesome, body-warming, ginger- and garlic-kissed Asian Turkey Soup. 

Gobble, Gobble Up That Turkey

We’re just going to say it: Buy the extra big turkey this year. Why, you ask? Because a Tupperware full leftover turkey is one of the most versatile things you can have in your fridge. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey is surprisingly easy to repurpose into something totally new without feeling like you are eating the same thing on repeat. 

large pot of turkey soup

What to Do with All That Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

Last year, TMP featured the most delicious Turkey Pozole Rojo recipe, and we definitely plan to make that dish again this year. But we also want to make this soup, so we’re going BIG and making extra (extra, extra) turkey so we can use leftover turkey in all of the things: enchiladas, tacos, a shredded turkey version of our Pumpkin Turkey Chili, and especially this garlic- and ginger-laced Asian turkey soup. A lot of these dishes are great for freezing too, so we’re planning ahead for an extra-cozy winter with these comforting meals all ready to go.  

two bowls of turkey soup

But, First! Debone the Turkey …

Is it weird that we actually really enjoy the art of pulling every last piece of meat off the roasted turkey carcass? Or even weirder still that the kids like to help? Get ready to roll up your sleeves.

  • No really, roll up your sleeves. And put an apron on, too. This could get messy.
  • Gloves? Sure, if you’ve got them. And grab a sharp paring knife while you’re at it.
  • Dig in. It’s WAY easier to pull any remaining meat off the turkey before it’s been refrigerated, so pour yourself another glass of wine and just consider it part of your party clean up. Don’t be afraid to tear the bird apart bone by bone to get lingering pieces of meat off. We like to keep white meat separated from dark meat, but this bit is totally up to you.This turkey vegetable soup uses both, so for the purposes of this recipe, it doesn’t matter.
  • Done and done. Or, if you’ve still got wine in your glass and energy in your body, start the carcass boiling in a pot of water and a mix of garlic, peeled onion, carrots, celery (or any other fresh veggies you’ve still got in the fridge), and salt for homemade turkey broth. You can use either homemade or store-bought stock for this turkey soup recipe. 

How to Make Turkey Soup from Leftovers

Once you’ve got the turkey meat off the bone, this easy turkey soup recipe comes together in a flash. Rather than going classic with a traditional chicken-noodle flavor profile, we gave our homemade turkey vegetable soup an Asian flare. Our turkey soup ingredients include shallots, baby bok choy, and a squeeze of fresh lime, and the turkey soup seasoning really pops thanks to the zing of fresh ginger. 

To make turkey soup from scratch:

  1. Sauté shallots, then add garlic and grated ginger. See our note below about using a microplane to grate ginger. It’s a meal-prep game changer. 
  2. Add broth, turkey, and veggies. Season with fish sauce and lime.
  3. Finish with rice noodles, and serve. A tip for using rice noodles: if you don’t plan to eat this soup in one sitting, cook the rice noodles separately, rinse them under cold water, scoop into individual bowls, and ladle hot soup on top. Rice noodles quickly turn to mush if they’re left in liquid for too long. You can add them to any leftover soup as-needed.

large black ceramic bowl filled with asian turkey soup

Tools You’ll Need to Make Our Low-Carb Turkey Soup: 

  • Stockpot. The bigger your pot, the more soup you can make. We’d seriously recommend doubling this leftover turkey soup recipe if your pot allows it. 
  • A microplane grater is indispensable for grating ginger. We don’t even bother peeling our ginger anymore—just run your nub of ginger through the ultra-fine grater. 
  • Silicone tongs are handy for distributing rice noodles to individual bowls. We’ve found these work way better for scooping up the rice noodles in this Asian soup than the more traditional pasta spoon. 

Go Ahead, Buy the EXTRA BIG Turkey

You’re going to want enough leftovers to make this turkey carcass soup. And enough turkey leftovers to make a few more Thanksgiving leftover favorites, like:

  • Turn any bland turkey into a flavor fireball with our Turkey Pozole Rojo. 
  • Soup season your thing? You’re not alone. Cozy up with our
Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice. Trade out the ground turkey for leftover Thanksgiving turkey in our Turkey Pumpkin Chili.

Ready to Gobble, Gobble Up Your Turkey Soup?

Did our recipe help you figure out how to make turkey soup from Thanksgiving leftovers? It’s so easy, right? Tag us @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Soup’s on!

Turkey Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 small shallot, finely diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger grated
8 cups turkey or chicken stock
3 cups leftover turkey, shredded
2 baby bok choy, quartered or cut into eighths lengthwise
4-6 oz mushrooms (we used oyster and white)
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
Salt to taste
10-14 oz rice noodles (we used Pad-Thai style)
Cilantro
Green onion
Red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds
Extra lime

Method

  1. In a large soup pot (5 quart), heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and grated ginger and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  2. Once the ginger is fragrant and the shallots are softening, add the stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, then add the turkey, bok choy and mushrooms.
  4. Season with the juice of one lime and the fish sauce. Check for saltiness. Depending on how salty your stock was you may want to add more salt to taste.
  5. Add the rice noodles to the soup. Once the rice noodles soften, you are ready to garnish and serve.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.