Leftover Turkey and Cilantro Soup


Tired of that leftover Thanksgiving Turkey? Don’t know what to do with that last little bit? Don’t worry! I’ve been there! My family didn’t even particularly love the turkey in the first place…. till this year when we brined it, slow roasted it, upside down, in a dutch oven…. then it was hard to get leftovers! But that is a different story!


There are always some scraps on the bones, and that last little bit that isn’t enough for a meal and all those little chunks that are hard to serve. So my family started making a soup with it! It is a delicious turkey and cilantro soup.

Start with the turkey bones- Stick that whole thing in a good stock pot, cover at least half way (6-8 cups at least), add about 1/2 tsp of salt, and let it simmer for a few hours. I would suggest 2-3 hours on low with a lid. (Check it once in a awhile to make sure it still has plenty of water. This will be the base of your soup. The turkey broth. When that is done, run it through a strainer to get all the bones out. Pick out any chunks of meat you see that you want to save.

Then you get to choose this next step. You can either saute an onion, or just stick it into your boiling broth. The onions are sweeter when sauteed, but they taste just fine boiled… and it is great when you are in a hurry. Use 1/2-1 onion, depending on size and amount of soup your wanting to make.

Then some grated carrot. I do 1-2 depending on the size. You don’t want too much carrot, but it adds some flavor, nutrition (sneak those veggies in;) and some great color! Add that and the onion to your broth.

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1 can of stewed chopped tomatoes. (or fresh if you have them)

1-2 cloves of garlic- or about 1 tsp. if you are like me and like the Costco minced garlic 😉 1/2 tsp chili powder, a few shakes of red chili pepper flakes (more or less depending on your taste) and I like to add about 1/4 tsp garlic salt because I feel like it adds different flavor than strictly just the garlic. Now you may want to taste the broth because it might need salt. You added salt as you made the broth so be careful- every batch is different.

This soup is really customizable. You can add celery if you would like and also black or pinto beans. (I opted out of the beans this time around because I am nursing and I happen to like a happy baby 🙂 But they do make it very tasty! And you can add more or less of anything depending on how much you want to make or how much you like or dislike an ingredient!

Then add your bits and pieces of leftover turkey. Use those small scraps and pieces that fell apart while cutting it. Then if you have any bigger pieces, cut them into bite size pieces. you will probably want about 1 1/2 cups of turkey. But you can use what you have!

Then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Then serve topped with cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, and tortilla chips- or Fritos- our favorite!



Turkey Cilantro Soup

6-8 cups Turkey Broth

1 medium Onion

1-2 carrots

1 can of Stewed Chopped Tomatoes.

1-2 cloves or 1 tsp garlic- minced

1/2 tsp Chili Powder

A sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 tsp Garlic Salt

1 1/2 cup Chopped Turkey

For the toppings-

Shredded Cheese

Sour Cream

1/2  bunch Cilantro chopped

1-2 Avocados cubed

Tortilla chips or Fritos.

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Enjoy this souper simple and delicious soup! (and clean out your fridge ;))

(This post contains affiliate links)



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