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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh

Chef Oonagh Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey SoupThis is a variation on a soup I make with fresh ground beef or leftover roast beef. I thought it would be a nice change from the usual chowder style turkey soup after Thanksgiving. This is good for using up some of the vegetables and meat leftover from your Thanksgiving meal. The more you add, the thicker the soup gets. I call for the vegetables to be finely chopped because I like to have a selection of vegetables in each spoonful. However, if you decide to chop your vegetables in the food processor, take care, or your vegetables will be far too finely chopped and go mushy.


  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 ribs/stalks of celery, quartered lengthwise and cut into small slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • 2 slices bacon, pepperoni, salami, or breakfast sausage, scissored into small pieces (I like Jones Dairy Farm bacon and sausage, labeled gluten-free)
  • A cooked turkey thigh or drumstick
  • ½ cup tiny gluten-free pasta (ditalini, tinkyada, or thin spaghetti broken into small lengths will work)
  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz., 720 ml.) marinara/pasta sauce (Both Paesana and Classico sell 24 oz. jars labeled gluten-free. I like Paesana low sodium marinara, as the salt doesn’t catch the back of my throat.)
  • 3 cups (24 fl. oz., 720 ml.), gluten-free chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml.) Italian herb seasoning, or fresh basil and oregano added at the end of cooking, or a spoonful of pesto stirred in at the end
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup (60 ml.) tomato paste or tomato ketchup
  • Bell pepper strips, optional
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml.) smoked paprika, optional
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil and bacon over gentle heat in large pan, frying until bacon starts browning. Add cut up pepperoni, sausage, etc.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bell pepper strips. Cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until softening.
  3. Add turkey thigh or drumstick, marinara sauce, stock, pasta, herbs, freshly ground pepper and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes until vegetables are soft and meat is falling off the bone.
  4. Remove thigh or drumstick and pull off meat to add back to soup.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning.  If too thick for you, add more stock or milk.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese on each bowl and crusty bread.

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