Use Up Your Extra Turkey and Make Turkey Soup!

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I love soups unreasonably, as my comment on Stephanie’s soup post the other day reminded me (I linked to no fewer than FOUR soups!).

One of my very favorites to make—and something my sister Ashley begs me to make when she comes—is Turkey and Tortellini Soup. The original recipe is from Epicurious and I’ve deviated only slightly from it. It really is a wonderful way to make your leftover turkey fresh, and the flavors in the soup are so wonderfully developed in a short amount of time.

If you have the time, simmering your turkey bones to make homemade stock as a base is not only frugal but also incredibly delicious and healthful!

Throw this together for a day-after-Thanksgiving feast (perhaps after a day of Black Friday shopping?) and your family will thank you for not just pulling out leftover stuffing and potatoes.

Italian Turkey and Tortellini Soup

Italian Turkey and Tortellini Soup

Adapted from Epicurious


  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, chopped or crushed slightly (or 1/2 tsp. ground fennel)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 6 c. chicken or turkey stock or broth
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 package of tortellini (refrigerated or dried)
  • 1 1/2 c. diced cooked turkey
  • grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add green pepper, onion, garlic, basil, fennel, and red pepper, and saute for 10 minutes or until soft.

Add stock; cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Add in zucchini and carrot; cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until veggies are almost tender.

Uncover and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and boil until done (check package directions). Reduce heat to low and stir in turkey; let cook about 1-2 minutes, just to warm turkey. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with crackers and Parmesan cheese.

This Monday recipe is linked up to Mouthwatering Mondays, Tasty Tuesdays, Crafty Mamas Monday, Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight, Ingredient Spotlight: Bell Peppers, Ingredient Spotlight: Pasta and Basil, and Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes at Real Life Blog.

7 thoughts on “Use Up Your Extra Turkey and Make Turkey Soup!

  1. GREAT!!! soup recipe for leftover turkey. I like the idea of fennel seeds in the recipe. Adds a different, but enjoyable taste.

  2. I sent my mom a link to this because it seems like something she would love. She likes soup, she likes pasta, and she likes using all her leftover turkey.

  3. sounds wonderful! I love turkey soup made from the bones of the Thanksgiving turkey almost more than I like eating the actual turkey!! Yum.

  4. This looks amazing! I love Tortellini, but I never thought about putting it in my soup! I am also a HUGE fan of homemade stock! I buy whole chicken for this all the time! They're cheap!

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