Creamy leftover turkey soup is a delicious way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers. With a cashew-enriched broth, this dairy-free creamy turkey soup is loaded with tender shredded turkey, fresh veggies, herbs, and potatoes.
The day after Thanksgiving, the fridge is stocked with leftovers. While it’s easy to just pop something in the microwave, reheated leftovers get boring. Want a new way to use up all that leftover turkey? This dairy-free creamy turkey soup is soothing and satisfying!
Reasons This Creamy Turkey Soup Recipe Works
- Waste-Free! Groceries are expensive and we hate to see them go to waste. Instead of throwing out Thanksgiving leftovers after the holiday weekend, use it to make a new dish.
- Easy to Make! Soup recipes are always so simple to make. This leftover turkey soup recipe comes together in just 1 hour.
- Healthy Comfort Food! This soup is both dairy-free and gluten-free. It’s made with lean turkey, along with fresh veggies and herbs. It’s filling and nutritious.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cooked turkey meat: Use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Both dark meat and white meat are wanted here!
- Bacon: This is an optional ingredient but bacon adds a salty, savory flavor.
- Garlic cloves: Mince fresh garlic for the best results.
- Vegan butter or regular butter and olive oil: Use this to sauté your veggies.
- Mirepoix: Chopped onions, leeks, celery and carrots are cooked in bacon fat for a mouthwatering foundation of flavor.
- Yukon gold potatoes: Cut into large wedges.
- Turkey broth: This enhances the turkey flavor.
- Water: The liquid base of the soup.
- Seasoning: Season with Italian seasoning, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Fresh parsley: Chopped.
- Raw cashews: Since this creamy turkey soup is dairy-free, we use cashews to thicken up the broth. It’s a great alternative to half and half or heavy cream. The result is luscious, velvety smooth broth that does NOT taste like cashews.
How to Make Turkey Soup with Leftover Turkey
SAUTÉ. Heat a combination of oil and butter in a large pot, and cook bacon until crispy; set aside when done. In the bacon drippings, sauté onions, leeks, and garlic, then add carrots, celery, and spices, cooking until vegetables are tender.
SIMMER. Add diced potatoes, shredded turkey, bacon pieces, chicken broth, and water to the pot; bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 30 minutes.
BLEND. While simmering, soak raw cashews in hot water for at least 10 minutes in a separate saucepan. After simmering, blend a portion of the soup with soaked cashews and cooked potatoes until smooth.
POUR. Pour the creamy mixture back into the soup, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with chopped bacon and parsley before serving. Finally, enjoy!
Tips To Make the Best Creamy Turkey Soup
- Always start your soup by sautéing aromatics. This one is especially yummy because the veggies are cooked in bacon grease.
- Use fresh ingredients. They up the quality and the taste.
- This soup tastes even better the next day when the ingredients have gotten the chance to meld.
Substitutions + Variations
- Broth. Some leftover turkey soup recipes include homemade turkey stock made from turkey carcasses. This recipe uses turkey broth but you can use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead.
- Leftover Turkey Soup with Rice. Instead of potatoes, you can use jasmine rice or wild rice to keep this soup hearty.
- Potatoes. You can swap the Yukon gold potatoes for sweet potatoes.
- Leftover Ham and Turkey Soup. Your mind probably already went there but if not, consider throwing in some leftover ham too!
Storage + Reheating
If you manage to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container after the soup has cooled to room temperature. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the soup in the microwave or over medium heat on the stove until it is warmed through.
Why does my turkey soup taste bland?
If your soup tastes bland, the vegetables may not have cooked long enough to release their flavors into the broth. Ensure that the veggies are cooked until tender, allowing their natural flavors to infuse into the soup. Coconut aminos or lemon can also boost the overall flavor.
What makes soup more creamy?
Most soup recipes use dairy to make them creamy but for dairy-free options, try coconut milk, coconut cream, or even pureed vegetables. For this recipe, we pureed soaked cashews with reserved broth.
How long is leftover turkey good for soup?
When properly stored, leftover turkey lasts up to 1 week. However, if you plan to eventually make creamy turkey soup with leftover turkey, make it within 3-4 days of your Thanksgiving meal or freeze the turkey for later use.
How do you thicken turkey soup broth?
Thicken soup broth by making a roux (using gluten-free flour), adding cornstarch, or adding mashed potatoes into the broth.
I Hope You Enjoy This Creamy Turkey Soup with Potatoes Recipe!
If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.
More Turkey Recipes To Try!
- Easy Spatchcock Thanksgiving Turkey
- Baked Turkey Wings
- Air Fryer Turkey Legs
- How to Dry Brine Turkey
- Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
- Maple Butter Glazed Spatchcock Turkey (video)
Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup (Dairy-Free)
- 3 cups cooked turkey meat or more plus more as desired
- 4 strips bacon optional
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter or regular butter
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 Leeks cleaned and chopped
- 3 large carrots peeled & sliced
- 1.5 pounds about 3-4 medium sized potatoes yukon gold potatoes cut into large wedges
- 4 cups turkey broth chicken, or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup raw cashews see note
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large pot over medium heat, add a combination of oil and butter. Lay strips of bacon in the pot and cook for a few minutes on both sides until they’re nice and crispy (usually about 5-7 minutes on each side).
- Once the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. In the bacon drippings, cook chopped onions and leeks for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then, toss in carrots, celery, and your favorite spices, and cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies are tender.
- Add diced potatoes, shredded turkey, 2 strips of cooked bacon cut into pieces, chicken broth, and water to the pot. Turn up the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Turn off the heat, and soak raw cashews in the hot water for at least 10 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of simmering, use a ladle to remove half of the potatoes from the soup. In a blender, combine about 1.5 cups of broth, the soaked raw cashews, and the cooked potatoes. (make sure your blender is safe to blend hot liquids) Blend until you have a smooth, creamy liquid.
- Pour the creamy mixture back into the soup and give it a good stir to combine. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper according to your preference.
- Serve the soup in a bowl and garnish with chopped cooked bacon and parsley. Enjoy!