No. 338: Chicken (Turkey) Noodle Soup

As you may have read in previous posts, Mr. McC hit a home run again this year with his delicious turkey. We went through the same two-day, three step process with the same incredible results as last time. I highly recommend it.

There were six adults and two hungry toddlers around to eat our 13-pound bird, but we still had plenty of leftovers. After a couple days of pierogis and turkey sandwiches, it was time to get a bit more creative.

No. 338: Leftover Chicken (Turkey) Noodle Soup

There are some incredible, from scratch recipes out there for chicken noodle soup. Try one someday, it really does change the entire experience.

This recipe is not at all from scratch. It has one purpose, to help you get rid of that leftover turkey (or chicken) your family isn't getting through fast enough while also soothing your need for soup on a cold winter night.


For the stock
4.5 quarts store-bought chicken stock, low sodium (I used 14 it cups since that is what I had)
Leftover turkey bits and pieces, bones, giblets, neck and dark meat that you aren't interested in eating.
1 onion, quartered
3 carrots, halved
3 celery stalks, with leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon peppercorns

To finish the soup
3 large carrots, peeled and diced small
3 celery stocks, halved and diced small
2 large leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced crosswise into thin half-moons
3-4 cups leftover turkey breast (white meat preferably), chopped into bite sized pieces
Egg noodles (1 package of extra wide)
Finely chopped herbs such as parsley, thyme, scallions and tarragon

To make

If using store-bought stock, start by adding flavor to it with the turkey bits and pieces. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large pot with the turkey bits and other 'stock' ingredients above.

Stock 'infusing'

Let simmer for 45-60 minutes or until the flavor is infused - basically simmer it while you chop and sauté the veggies below. Strain the solids from the broth.

If using homemade stock, or if you don't feel like step one, this is your place to begin!

Place 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot (I did this in a large sauté pan while my store bought stock simmered in the first step). Add leeks, stir to coat, and heat over medium heat until leeks begin to fry. Then reduce the heat to a gentle sizzle and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add carrots and celery, sprinkle with salt, stir, and cover the pot. Cook until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes more. (Keep in mind that vegetables will continue to cook in the soup.) Do not brown.


Combine broth with vegetables in large pot and heat to a simmer. Add noodles and simmer until heated through, soft and plumped with chicken broth (about 8 minutes). Add the breast meat, then taste broth and add salt, pepper and herbs to taste.

If needed, add a chicken bouillon cube for more depth of flavor or reserved chicken fat from homemade stock.

Serve immediately, and hot.

The results

This was lovely. It was simple, delicious, filling and fulfilled my need for a healthy and yummy soup.

Final bowl

If only it was colder than 50 degrees. Seriously, where is winter?!

But in all seriousness, in an hour I had what tasted a LOT like chicken soup from scratch.

If you are looking for a homemade broth hack, I have a good tip that I got from reading a comment on a cooking blog once. I thought it was brilliant.

Pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store, remove all the meat and set it aside. Then simmer the carcass with celery, onion, carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns for an hour or so. Strain off all solids and you've got broth. OR...chop some of the veggies and return them to the broth, and add the chicken and noodles with some chopped parsley. Perfection.

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina