Thanksgiving means turkey, and turkey means leftovers, and leftover turkey means soup.  That is the rubric of Thanksgiving. Don’t shy away from buying a turkey that will give you leftovers – you would be sad without them.

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

Leftover Turkey Soup

This recipe is perfect for leftover turkey, and in fact was born of leftover turkey.  I used the bones from a roasted turkey breast to make the stock, but if you have the bones from a whole turkey you will be rewarded with even richer, more flavorful stock

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

No part of the turkey should be tossed when you are making stock; everything should go into the pot.  Bones, skin, and inedible bits, all of it will be strained out and all of it will add deep flavor to the broth. There is nothing to compete with the flavor of homemade turkey stock, even bolstered with storebought chicken broth.

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup: The most comforting, satisfying way to use up leftover turkey, including a simple homemade stock.

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Turkey Soup Ingredients

I will confess that I think there is something so perfect and homey and comforting about this soup as is, with no additional seasonings.  But if you want to bump up the flavor a bit, there’s lots you can do.

You can add dried chopped fresh herbs to this soup if you like.  Thyme, marjoram, sage, and rosemary would be good additions.  Start with 1 teaspoon dried, or 2 teaspoons fresh, and add more as desired.   Dried herbs should be added at the beginning of the cooking process, when you are sauteing the vegetables. Fresh herbs should be added at the end, when you add the shredded cooked turkey to heat through.

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

Sure, you could add some cayenne or hot sauce.  Sure you could add some corn or diced winter squash, either uncooked with the other vegetables, or cooked towards the end.  Some cooked rice at the end.  All would be good.  But the simplicity of this soup just speaks to me.  Though I surely wouldn’t pass up the chance to throw in some leftover vegetables if they were lying around.

Go easy on the salt at first, especially if you are including skin from the turkey in your broth, which may have been generously salted.

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

Other Leftover Turkey Recipes:

Also Read: 11 Casseroles, Soups (and More) Recipes Using Leftover Turkey.

Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

Other Winter Soup Recipes:

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Leftover Turkey Split Pea Soup

The most comforting, satisfying way to use up leftover turkey, including a simple homemade stock.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Diet: Gluten Free


  • 10 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 turkey carcass or the bones from one whole turkey breast , broken into pieces, any skin included
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dried split peas
  • 4 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey (or use chicken)
  • Grated Parmesan to serve (optional)


  • Place the pieces of the turkey carcass pieces into a large soup pot and add the broth. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock into another pot and discard the bones, skin, and any solid in the strainer.
  • In the same pot that you simmered the stock, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the strained stock back to the pot along with the split peas and simmer for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, until the split peas are very tender and starting to fall apart.
  • Stir in the chopped or shredded turkey and heat through for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 1548mg | Potassium: 1296mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3774IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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