Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables using leftover Thanksgiving turkey is a fabulous way to keep the holiday feast going! 

Who here is obsessed with carcasses? Spoiler alert: I am.

Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables - made using leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Fact or fiction?: Julia made The Most Epic Turkey Stock Ever last week.


The end.

Not really.

You see this soup here? Totally not made with The Most Epic Turkey Stock Ever. Totally made with store-bought chicken broth.

Back story time!

One of my favorite parts about the holidays is the turkey carcass. My family always leaves a huge amount of meat on the bones and no one ever wants the carcass. I want the carcass always.  So per usual, I got my carcass after our Thanksgiving feast was over, and I determined I would make the most bangarang turkey stock ever. And so I did. And guys, it really was bangarang. Like I even told my mom, “Mah. I made bangarang turkey stock.”

While making the bone broth, I left the remaining meat on the bones and allowed the stock to cook on low overnight. This resulted in super flavorful stock and super tender leftover meat.

When I pulled the meat off the bone, eating bits of delicious succulent dark meat along the way, and strained the stock, my knees were weak with love.

I had love-weak knees. That’s how great this whole experience was.

Bonus points: I ended up with like a gallon of stock. That’s money saved in the ol’ piggy bank times one gallon! Let’s put it all that money-saving stock in a big ass mason jar, shall we? Sure!

You see where this is going.

Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables - made using leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Bones in trash, meat in a zip lock baggie, stock in jar. Bueno.

Time to put my jar of stock in the fridge. 

You know how sometimes you luck out when you drop something made out of glass and your fragile item doesn’t break, and you’re like, “phew! Thank GAH I had luck today!”? That didn’t happen in this case.

I went to put my enormous jar of fabulous stock in my refrigerator, and the thing took a flying leap into the air like a possessed wombat and chucked itself at the floor.

Okay, what really happened was butter fingers here dropped the jar from like 4 inches above the kitchen tile (4 INCHES!!!) and the whole thing shattered in the most obnoxiously dramatic way. Glass all asunder, turkey stock flew everywhere.

I stood there in a puddle of delicious stock, my fancy boots soaked (like it would have been convenient to be wearing galoshes, but again: no luck was found the day I dropped The Most Epic Turkey Stock Ever).

When things like this happen, it usually takes me a hot minute to figure out to do. Like, I mentally search for the Edit -> Undo option in the magical place where reality meets fantasy land, and once I’m unable to find it (which is always), I then make my plan of attack. Long story short, I clean the gallon of stock off my everything and abandon the idea of making soup, because: no stock.

And then, after a couple of days of mourning my loss, it dawns on me that I can just use store-bought chicken broth with my leftover turkey. So that’s what I did, and the rest is history.

Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables - made using leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

This soup is hearty!

It’s all spruced up with root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and turnips, and is packed with all sorts of herb-y turkey flavor.

If you still have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, this is a great way of putting it to use.

You can even make a double or triple batch to freeze for later. If you’re fresh out of turkey leftovers, you can totes use chicken.

Have a swig!

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!

More Healthy Soup Recipes:

Big bowl of turkey soup with root vegetables with vegetables in the background

Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables

4.84 from 12 votes
Use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey meat in this incredibly tasty Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 3 to 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 large turnip peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 large parsnip peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought turkey broth or chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked leftover turkey chopped


  • Add the first six ingredients (oil through celery) to a large stock pot or dutch oven and heat over medium. Saute, stirring occasionally for 18 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, salt, and herbs and continue sauteeing for 2 minutes.
  • Add the broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
  • Remove the cover, add the cooked leftover turkey and continue cooking 3 minutes, until turkey is hot.
  • Serve heaping bowls and enjoy


Serving: 1Serving · Calories: 346kcal · Carbohydrates: 22g · Protein: 38g · Fat: 7g · Fiber: 6g · Sugar: 12g
Author: Julia
Course: Soups, Stews, & Chilies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: keto, leftover turkey soup, low-carb, paleo, root vegetables, soup recipe, thanksgiving turkey, whole30
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Oh, dear. That’s happened before. I’m also famous for filling the jars for the freezer just a hair too full and then having them explode in the freezer. Then, I stand there staring at it, thinking in my mind, “Hmmm…wonder how much glass is REALLY in there? Can I pick it out?”. No, Julie, you can not pick it out. Sad face. Also, this kind of thing rarely happens when I’m alone. It’s usually when Jerry is in the kitchen with me and the dogs are under feet. Yeah. Good times. BUT, this soup looks yummy for an icky, winter day.

    1. So glad I’m not the only one who has stock mishaps. Perhaps we should just make the stock and then employ others (i.e. Jerry) to do the storing/thawing for us so that we can avoid these disaster-in-the-kitchen situations. 😉

      1. That’s an awesome idea. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to Alex, either, so we can enlist his help, too. Feed them good, and they’re pretty good helpers.

  2. I don’t eat meat but I hate to see anything go to waste so last year I asked for the carcass at Thanksgiving and my family died laughing and gave me the weirdest looks. They asked me if I was going to give it a proper burial haha but I made turkey stock with and made soup and gravy for my boyfriend!

    1. LOL your family sounds like a hoot! I can just envision a headstone for the sad little turkey carcass. So nice of you to make soup for your meat-eating bf! Hope you had a great weekend, sister!

  3. I’ve never thought of myself as a carcass-loving individual, but I’m thinking next year I should ask for the carcass if only to make soup. Brillbrillbrilllllliant!

    1. Oh yeah, everyone should experience the bombdiggityness of homemade turkey stock at least once – it’s SO good for you, too!

  4. This soup looks fabulous! SO sorry you broke the jar of stock. I have breaking glass, it’s the worst! I’m always paranoid that I will find shards I missed later on.

    1. I usually find missed shards with my bare feet, but thankfully my toes have been shard-free so far. Think I got everything after an entire roll of paper towels and three moppings. Fingers (toes?) crossed I don’t “locate” any rogue glass with my body 😉

  5. I’ve been told that I can tear open a turkey or chicken like a beast, but I never do anything with the carcass! I could feel my mother’s reproachful eyes staring at me when I do this because she would save the carcass to make one bomb-diggity broth!

    1. It’s tough to beat ma’s kick ass broth, so I don’t blame ya for letting her keep the carcass. Plus: time + broken jars + where do you store a gallon of broth?

  6. sorry about your carcasstrophe (ohh see what I did there?) But looks like it worked out OK in the end 🙂 Looks delicious.

  7. Oh my gosh, what a sad story! I’m so sorry you lost all your beloved turkey stock AND you had to clean up a huge mess! I dropped my favorite bowl to photograph food in yesterday and I almost cried when it shattered into a million pieces! This turkey soup looks awesome though and you can’t go wrong with root vegetables! I hope it cheered you right up 🙂

    1. Oh giiiirl! It’s a bad week for glass things, it certainly is! Sorry to hear about your bowl – that’s always a toughy, especially when it’s a unique piece. I say we drink a glass of wine and keep our fingers crossed we don’t let the valuables slip from our fingers. 😉

  8. GAHHHH. I feel like this is totally something I would do. I always drop things everywhere at the most inopportune times. It’s the worst.

    But you totally made fabulous soup out of spoiled milk! Or something.

  9. Hi Julia!
    It’s me your no 1 recipe stalker fan! I made this soup recipe earlier this week and thoroughly enjoyed every bite! If I wasn’t eating this at work in our kitchen I would have licked the bowl so clean I could have put it back into the cabinet!
    I made some crostini with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and everything came together beautifully. I am at this very moment making the sweet potato and quinoa stew so expect raving reviews once again.
    Here’s to you and the new week – wishing you a splendid one!

    1. Yeeeeeeah! I’m so happy you liked the soup! It’s seriously one of my favorites – so easy, so healthy, and I love that it uses leftover turkey 🙂 Hope you like the sweet potato soup!! xoxo

  10. I am going to make this tomorrow! But I see turnips listed twice…. is there something else missing in its place?

  11. This is a beautiful picture of your soup. I scavenged the broth from roasted turkey wings, and the turkey carcass with drippings from a friends Thanksgivings on yesterday and can hardly wait to make this soup. I purchased some carrot, parsnip and turnip roots last week in hope of making a root pie. NO Way, this soup has won the right to the carcass.