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Leftover Turkey Soup with Double Mushrooms

It’s the morning after Thanksgiving, and I’m guessing there are a lot of folks making turkey soup today from the leftover turkey. Some people turn their nose up at the mention of turkey soup, and truthfully it can be pretty uninspiring if you don’t have a good flavored stock to start the soup. But with a base of homemade turkey stock, made from the turkey carcass, turkey soup is mouth-watering. (Edit 2008: Here are instructions for How to Make Turkey Stock if you’re making this recipe when you have a turkey carcass left from Thanksgiving.)

I’ve already shared some good turkey soup recipes, and last year I made Leftover Turkey, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup, which was delicious. The soup recipe I’m posting here is different because it’s suitable for what my brother Rand and I jokingly call *South Beach phase 1.5* where you’re trying to lose a couple of pounds but are not completely committed to doing phase one. This soup is rich and delicious but it doesn’t contain any rice, noodles, or potatoes. If you’re not a South Beach dieter you could add any of those things to this recipe. (If you’re doing the South Beach diet and want a true phase one soup, leave out the carrots.)

Here are a few highlights of how I made my soup. These photos show double the recipe, since I made a double batch of soup to freeze.

Break dried shitake mushrooms into pieces and soak in boiling water for at least 30 minutes. You’ll save this water to add flavor to the soup.

Brown or white mushrooms are cut in thick slices, then slices cut in half to make bite-sized pieces of mushroom for the soup.
I often use dried herbs in soup, so don’t be alarmed by the way they float on top at first. If you have fresh sage or thyme, by all means use it, but dried herbs give a great depth of flavor when they’re simmered in liquid like this.

Here’s the delicious soup, which is a great lunch for the day after Thanksgiving. I’ll be having some later today.

Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe with Double Mushrooms
(about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms, broken into pieces
1/2 cup boiling water (save after soaking mushrooms)
2-3 tsp. olive oil (depends on your pan)
4 oz. brown or white mushrooms, sliced (or more)
1 onion diced small
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups diced leftover turkey (brown meat preferred)
6 cups homemade turkey stock made from the turkey carcass
1/2 tsp. dried sage (often called rubbed sage)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
about 2 tsp. Penzeys or Better Than Bouillon turkey soup base
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Break dried mushrooms into pieces, put in cup and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit while you chop other veggies and turkey. Soak mushrooms at least 30 minutes.

Put turkey stock, sage, thyme, and turkey flavor base in large soup pot and start to simmer. Remove mushrooms from water with a slotted spoon and add to soup pot. Strain mushroom water if desired and add to soup.

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in frying pan. Add onion and saute until slightly softened, then add onions to soup. Add more oil if needed and saute mushrooms until they soften and all liquid evaporates, then add mushrooms to soup. Wipe out pan with a paper towel, then add final tsp. olive oil, add celery and carrots and saute 5 minutes, then add veggies to soup. (You can skip this step and add the raw veggies to the soup if you prefer. I’ve done it both ways.)

Let stock, mushrooms, and veggies simmer five to ten minutes, then add diced leftover turkey. (I usually taste the soup at this point to see if I want to add more turkey flavor base or dried herbs. I like a robustly flavored soup, so adjust these amounts to fit your taste.)

Reduce heat to lowest possible simmer and let soup cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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9 comments on “Leftover Turkey Soup with Double Mushrooms”

  1. We had Thanksgiving at my sister’s–she made a magnificent turkey (I did sides)–but she threw the carcass away before I could stop her! I thought it would be bad form to fish it out of the garbage so no turkey stock for me.

  2. Yum, Kalyn! I love mushrooms in soup. Looks fab!

  3. A very happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you, Kalyn! We did our turkey over at Dave’s parents’ house, but we kidnapped the carcass and it’s now in our freezer contemplating its soupy future. Dave mentioned just turkey stock (he’s a stock-making fiend), but after I mentioned you shiitake mushrooms and the fresh herbs, I think I’ve convinced him. Soup, it is!

  4. Er, that’s *your* shiitake mushrooms. I’m not calling you a mushroom. Honest! :p

  5. Lucette, very sorry to hear about the demise of the turkey carcass. Next year!

    Karina mushrooms rule!

    Mrs. D., see note to Karina. Seriously, the shitake mushroom flavor goes very well with the turkey stock I think. This soup was great.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

  6. isuYUMMMY! I didn’t cook this year, so no turkey carcass!! Your soup look great. When I left my friend’s house yesterday, her husband was already cooking the turkey carcass.

  7. Wow, this soup looks sooooo good! I love the double mushrooms, what wonderful flavor this must have. I’ll be trying this soon – thank you so much for sharing the recipe 😀

  8. delicious! total hit in our house, leftovers or not!

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