Cheesy Leftover Turkey Soup

If leftover turkey is still coming out of your ears and you can’t find space in the freezer for it, this delicious soup is a great way to use up the last shreds.

This easy soup is dual purpose, as you can also chuck in any raw veg you may have lurking about that didn’t even make it to the roasting tin or hob: some cabbage, a few parsnips, a lump of celeriac, a tired leek, a few potatoes or a carrot or 2.

If your leftover vegetables are already cooked, add them towards the end to just heat through (but before blending if you decide on a smooth soup).

And if you have a glut of cheese left over from the festivities, they are lumped in too: Stilton, cheddar, Camembert, Gouda, cream cheese or soft herb cheese, it’s pretty flexible. Though I suggest to stick with 1 or 2 cheese types, so as not to muddle the flavours too much.

Ditto with the herbs: chuck in a small handful of whatever you have. But go easy on dill, sage and tarragon, as they might fight with some of the other flavours. 

Obviously, this versatile soup can be made with leftover cooked chicken too. Or leave meat out altogether, as it’s delicious as an all veg and cheese soup too.


Cheesy Leftover Turkey Soup (GF RSF)

Cheese and turkey soup

I’m not going to use the words “if using” each and every time throughout this, as this “recipe” is more of a guide rather than an exact science.

I’ve written the recipe up the way I made it based on what I had in the fridge this time. But all depends on what you have and how much of it.

The key is the turkey, the cheese and the stock. The rest is up to you to play with.


Leftover cooked turkey, shredded

Carrots and/or squash, peeled and chopped (I used 1 carrot)

Celeriac, parsnip, cauliflower and/or potato, peeled and chopped (I used 1/4 celeriac)

Celery (I used 1 rib)

Leek, shallots and/or an onion , chopped (I used ½ leek and a banana shallot)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed

Stilton (crumbled), any full fat hard cheese (grated) or leftover cream cheese or soft herb cheese (I used a handful of mature Gouda and Parmesan).

Leftover raw sprouts and/or cabbage, shredded (I used 1/4 savoy cabbage)

Leftover cooked sausages, cut into small cubes (I didn’t have any, if you do, add them at the same time as the turkey)

Stock made from the turkey bones, leftover chicken stock or water plus a good stock jelly or bouillon powder

Fresh or dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, mixed herbs, oregano, sage, parsley, basil, tarragon (I used fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, chives and bay leaf)

Cream, yoghurt or crème fraiche (I used a little whipping cream)

Butter, coconut oil or rapeseed oil


Freshly grated nutmeg

Dry-fried or grilled bacon or pancetta crumbs or lardons

A drizzle of pesto (I used my kale and cashew pesto)

Cheese and leftover turkey soup


Heat coconut oil in a large soup pan and sauté the shallot and leek for a few minutes.

Add the garlic, fresh woody herbs and celeriac. Sauté for a few more minutes. Season.

Add enough stock to generously cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer a cook for 10 mins.

Add the carrot. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

You can blend all or half of the soup at this stage (as I did)  if you like a smooth texture. Don’t forget to fish out any woody herbs and bay leaves before you do so.

Return the blended soup to the pan on medium heat.

Add the cheese and allow it to melt into the soup. Grate in some nutmeg.

Add the turkey, savoy cabbage and finely chopped fresh soft herbs.

Keep a few fresh herbs behind for garnish

Keep a little turkey behind for garnish too, so it’ not all cheesy-soup covered. Just blast that turkey in the microwave for a minute or so to heat through, or fry it up with the lardons.

Simmer the soup for another few minutes until the turkey is hot and the cabbage is wilted. Check the seasoning.

Garnish with a drizzle of pesto, cream and perch some crispy lardons and shredded turkey on top.

Crusty (GF) bread on the side optional, but I suspect you may have some of that to use up as well.

Turkey and cheese soup



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