Changing Up Turkey Leftovers


So, along with the joy of the holidays comes the biggest dilemma of the holidays: what are we going to do with the LEFTOVERS?

Of course, there’s always the next day reheat…and perhaps the ubiquitous turkey sandwich, but after a while, even the leftovers have leftovers. Now what?

Well, I’d like to offer the following soup for your consideration. While Turkey-Noodle Soup is certainly traditional, the problem with this soup is, if you reheat it, the noodles fall apart. I considered just cooking the portion of noodles for the portion of soup we were going to eat, but I wanted to do something a little different.

Rice would work, but it’s still not ideal. I hit on a wild rice as an alternative and then built around that.

What I was in the mood for was a creamy, soul-satisfying concoction that would highlight the flavors of the turkey and include some bright veggies for color and extra taste.

Creamy Turkey Soup with Wild Rice & Chanterelles

And, happily this Creamy Turkey Soup with Wild Rice and Wild Mushrooms was the result.

I had the great fortune to score some more wild chanterelles when my hubby and I went up into the hills again the prior weekend, so I decided to add them to the soup. I sautéed them in some butter before adding them to the soup as the final step so they’d be cooked, but not get sloppy by just cooking in the soup alone. If you don’t have wild mushrooms, they are certainly optional. While you can probably purchase them in your local grocery store this time or year, depending on where you live, you could also do very well by purchasing Shiitake mushrooms, sautéing them like I did my Chanties and adding those to the soup. Even domestic mushrooms would work because they go so well with the wild rice.

You’ll see there are a few separate steps to this soup, but once you’ve done your pre-work, the rest of it comes together quickly.

And, of course, you can tailor the soup anyway you want depending on what you have on hand. If you have some leeks leftover from your holiday meals, they can stand in for the regular onions. Parsnips can be a great flavor profile, too, in place of — or in addition to, — the carrots. If you don’t have straight wild rice, there are great wild/white blends around — just be careful of the time you are pre-cooking your rice so it doesn’t get mushy.

The whole point is, that this soup makes a new meal, with very different flavor profiles, from the rest of the holiday meal you’ve been eating, likely for several days now. All it needs is a crusty loaf of bread, and perhaps a crisp green salad.

If you’ve made this soup and you enjoyed it, I’d love it if you’d drop me a note in the comments, below! If you’ve changed it up in some way, let me know that too! Sharing our experiences is more than half the fun.

Stay tuned for more holiday inspiration!

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Creamy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup with Wild Mushrooms

Inspired by the need to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, this soup hits all the right creamy and hearty notes
Course: Soup
Keyword: comfort food, creamy soup, quick and hearty soup, soup, thanksgiving leftovers, turkey leftovers, turkey soup, what to do with leftover turkey
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Corinne Gregory Sharpe


  • 2/3 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock, from leftover turkey
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup waxy potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked to al dente
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms, sliced and sautéed, optional
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream


For the Wild Rice

  • Combine water, wild rice and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, but not mushy, approximately 35-45 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, stir rice to fluff and cook, uncovered, on low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.

For the Soup

  • Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery and onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until light brown in color. Add stock gradually, stirring continually, until combined and no lumps of flour remain.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until slightly thickened and smooth.
  • Stir in shredded carrot and cook until carrot is tender, approximately 2 minutes.
  • Stir in wild rice, chopped turkey, potatoes, and wild mushrooms, if using, and cook until ingredients are heated through, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in cream and bring mixture almost to a boil (do NOT boil once cream has been added).
  • Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional small wild mushrooms and fresh chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper, as desired


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