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Turkey Soup with leftover Turkey

Turkey Soup with leftover Turkey

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This delicious Turkey soup, which is one of my favorites, is made with the carcass and leftovers of our roasted turkey, which we usually make during the holidays.

Turkey Trahanas soup with yoghurt picture

It’s a great way to not waste a single bite of turkey!

Roasted turkey image

Our Christmas or New Year’s Dinner

Stuffed Turkey

In Greece the only time we roast a whole turkey is either on Christmas day or on the New Year’s day. 

Christmas dinner image

I usually cook it on Christmas Day, so I make all the preparation on Christmas Eve and while everyone is still asleep on Christmas day I roast it in the oven for 3 – 4 hours, depending on how big it is.

What we love most in roasting the turkey is the stuffing, so I did not change anything to this delicious recipe, except for adding two kinds of raisins: sultana and black Corinthian raisins.  

Usually, we have lots of leftovers the following day and I was hoping to have some this year as well in order to rest on Sunday, but it was so delicious that whatever was left from lunch disappeared in the evening, except for the two drumsticks.

Turkey stuffing image

The stuffing

The stuffing was made with chicken livers, almonds, raisins and some rice to absorb all the juices.

Turkey meat image

Greek Lemony Potatoes

The classic lemony potatoes, are seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano and baked with extra virgin olive oil and some water. 

Greek Lemony roasted potatoes image

To cook the turkey I wrapped the whole baking tin in aluminum foil and cooked it for two hours.   It was then cooked uncovered, turning once for about 1 1/2 more hours.

Lahanosalata (Cabbage Salad)

One of our favourite salads which I make during Christmas, is a coleslaw salad, with walnuts, raisins and pomegranate. Another one which we also make some times is Tambouli.

Lahanosalata with tomato, carrot and parsley image


These cheese triangles are so easy to make and so delicious.   Crumbled feta is wrapped in phyllo and fried.

Tyropitakia Cheese triangles with feta image

During the holidays we usually buy bread for 2 – 3 days, so eating stale bread is not so pleasant. 

As soon as you take the turkey out of the oven cut some slices of bread and bake them for about ten minutes.  You simply have fresh hot bread again.

Slices of bread for roasting image

It’s even more delicious, as soon as they are out of the oven to drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle some sea salt, pepper and oregano.

Roasted Bread image

Of course, when making the soup, I always prepare some croutons to serve with it.

Of course, Tzatziki is a must in every  Greek table.   What make real Greek tzatziki delicious is primarily the Greek yoghurt.

Christmas dinner table image

The soup

In the evening I put the carcass of the turkey and any bones and put them in a pot and fill it with water. 

After bringing to a boil, I lower the heat and simmer it for about half an hour.

When it cools, I remove any meat. You may think that you’ve removed all the meat from the carcass but rest assured that you will still get a lot of meat out of it.

I put this in a bowl with a lid in the refrigerator and the broth which was about 2 1/2 – 3 litres,  in another.

The advantage of refrigerating the broth is that the fat rises on top, so you can remove as much fat as you like, although in my opinion that’s the most tasty part.  I removed half of the fat.

To make the soup

The beauty of this soup is that you can use any vegetables you have available in your refrigerator as well as the herbs and spices you love and just a little bit of salt. 

This soup is based on a similar recipe I have in my cookbook which I make with meat.

The basic ingredients needed are an onion, a clove of garlic, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 potatoes, a grated tomato and some celery.

Of course, you can also add zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, peas, peppers, corn, etc.

If you need a more filling soup to eat it as a main course add some rice, small pasta as hilopites or trahanas, just before it is ready.

You can eat the soup by just adding some raw olive oil and lemon but I chose to puree it in a food processor first, then add the lemon juice and cook it for 5 more minutes with a tiny pasta called peponaki.

Peponaki (from “peponi” which means, melon) is similar to orzo and it’s exactly the size of rice.

It is named peponaki because of its resemblance to melon seeds.  

I served this soup with Greek yoghurt diluted with a little water, so as to make it creamy.

This soup was so delicious that we all had seconds.

turkey soup with Greek yoghurt picture

Scroll further down and you will find an updated recipe using the carcass to make Turkey Trahanas Soup.

Collage Turkey soup image

Update:  27 December 2014

This year I made the soup somewhat different.  I cooked the vegetables together with the bones and made the broth.  

I strained the vegetables and after removing the bones, I put back all the vegetables and part of the broth in the pot.

Turkey soup cooking image

Turkey Soup with Trahanas and Halloumi

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 6 – 8


  • 1 turkey carcass
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely cut
  • 1 clove garlic, finely cut
  • 2 medium potatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  • ½ cup various bell peppers, red, orange, yellow
  • 1 cup white dry wine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp various whole peppercorns (red, black, green, white)
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups, turkey meat, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ litres turkey broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup tiny pasta (peponaki)
  • 200 ml Greek yoghurt dissolved with ¼ cup water


  1. Put turkey carcass and any leftover turkey bones in large pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for half an hour.
  3. Set aside to cool and remove any meat.
  4. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. 
  5. Add all the vegetables and sauté about five minutes.  Add the wine and mix.
  6. Season with salt and all or any of the dried herbs and spices.
  7. Add the turkey broth and bring to boil. 
  8. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour until all the vegetables are soft.
  9. Add turkey meat and lemon juice and remove bay leaf.
  10. Allow the soup to cool before puréeing it in the food processor.
  11. Bring back to boil and finally add pasta and cook for five minutes.
  12. Dilute yoghurt with water to make a cream. 
  13. Serve with yoghurt on top.
  14. You can serve it with croutons or baked bread as above.
Cuisinart immersion blender image

The addition of the Cypriot trahanas and halloumi makes the soup very creamy.  

Turkey trahanas soup image

One year, when I did not have any trahanas, I fried the halloumi which we added on top of the soup and to make it creamier I added Greek yoghurt mixed with mustard, making the soup even more delicious.

Turkey trahanas soup with leftovers image

Turkey Soup with leftover Turkey

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 13 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This delicious Turkey soup, which is one of my favorites, is made with the carcass and leftovers, of our roasted turkey, which we make during Christmas.


  • 1 turkey carcass and any bones from the thighs or wings
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • 2 cups, turkey meat, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ litres turkey broth
  • 200 grams Cypriot trahanas (about 1 cup)
  • More hot water
  • 3 slices halloumi chopped into small pieces
  • Greek yoghurt (optional)
  • Croutons (optional)


  1. Put the carcass and bones in a pot with water to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer for half an hour 
  2. Drain the broth and remove the meat from the carcass.
  3. In a pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds, until fragrant.
  5. Add all the vegetables and sauté them as well.
  6. Add the turkey meat, salt and pepper.
  7. Add the broth, passing it from a strainer.
  8. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  9. Add the trahanas and mix  (If you don't have any trahanas, you can still
    make the soup, substituting it with any kind of tiny pasta. See other options in the post).
  10. Add the halloumi and mix. (If the soup becomes too thick, add more broth or water, if necessary).
  11. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, mixing regularly 
  12. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, some croutons and freshly grated black pepper.
Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 369Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 120mgSodium 1944mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 34g

"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Turkey leftovers recipes

Here are a few ideas what you can do with your leftover turkey

Collage Turkey Trahanas Soup image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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Wednesday 29th of December 2010

That's a lot of good food there. I have always been frightened by a huge turkey...haha. Just don't know what to do with it. yet this year I bought the first huge turkey because it was on a huge discount. That was impulsive irresistible buying! Regretted after that when I got home...haha. I cut it up at the joints, added some seasoning and roast it to make turkey rice porridge...delicious! Wishing you a great 2011! My recent post Very Special Christmas 2010


Tuesday 28th of December 2010

Quite a feast for your Christmas dinner! Everything looks wonderful! And I love the idea of the soup with turkey leftovers, sounds yummy for sure!


Tuesday 28th of December 2010

Beautiful soup, especially now that they say the weather is getting colder. Very tasy table you prepared Ivy mou kai tou xronou! My recent post Melomakarona Part 2


Tuesday 28th of December 2010

OMG, you deep fry your tyropita?!?! oh my, I think I'm in love!!!!! My cousin's mother-in-law uses flour tortilla instead of filo dough, which is an interesting twist too, but WOW deep frying them? I need to come over for deep fried tyropita!!!!!

Xronia Polla! It looks like you have a very delicious Christmas feast! My recent post New Years Resolutions


Tuesday 28th of December 2010

A wonderful dinner and a delightful leftover soup!



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