Use leftover turkey in a rustic and nutritious soup

Turkey-Butternut Squash Soup With Celery Root

Turkey-butternut squash soup with celery root, December 2013

How have you been using your Thanksgiving leftovers? A couple of my less successful tries in previous years have been turkey salad and grilled “everything” sandwiches. I thought the turkey salad was less than appetizing with the mostly dark meat. And though I liked the idea of grilled paninis layered with turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce, these turned out to be a lot of work for a Thanksgiving evening and not as good as I had imagined—too much “going on!”

More successful uses have been comforting hot dishes like pot pie, shepherd’s pie, and soups. The recipe here, turkey-butternut squash soup with celery root, is hearty and filling, has distinctive celery root flavor, and is packed with nutrition. Squash and turkey pair as well in soup as at the Thanksgiving table, and the celery root adds zing.

You can leave out the celery root if you like−use just an inch or two of water with the squash and cook 15 to 20 minutes until it’s soft. But I gave both versions to a friend to choose which she liked best, and she texted back, “I am a new fan of celery root.”

Another optional ingredient in this soup is fines herbs, a blend of dried herbs that might include chervil, thyme, basil, tarragon, dill, marjoram and others. You can purchase them, or make a batch using this recipe.

Turkey-Butternut Squash Soup With Celery Root
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium celery root (also called celeriac; about 1 pound), peeled and cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeds removed, and cut into cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • Water for cooking squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion or 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 2 teaspoons fines herbs (optional)
  • Chicken broth or additional water, to thin soup
  • 2 to 3 cups cubed, chopped or shredded turkey
  1. Place cubed celery root and chopped garlic in a large soup pot. Add water to cover the cubes. Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and lower heat just to boiling. Cook 20 minutes. Add squash cubes and cook another 15 to 20 minutes or until squash cubes are soft when pierced with a fork.
  2. Remove from heat and add oil, salt, parsley, chives or green onion, and optional fines herbs.
  3. Process the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy. Use a regular blender (working in batches) or an immersion blender. Add chicken broth or water, 1/2 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. If you used a regular blender, place soup back in pot.
  4. Stir in turkey and heat through. Serve hot, or freeze and reheat later.
Calories: 395; Fat: 17g; Saturated fat: 3g; Carbohydrates: 36g; Sugar: 9g; Sodium: 549mg; Fiber: 11g; Protein: 28g; Cholesterol: 66mg.


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7 Responses to “Use leftover turkey in a rustic and nutritious soup”

  1. Terez says:

    I’ll be doubling the recipe. Would you use two celery roots in this case, or would the celery root flavor be too strong?

    • Terez says:

      I did increase the celery root proportionally. The soup was delicious. I used butter instead of olive oil. Will be freezing leftovers to have in a week or two.

      • Great, Terez, I’m happy it turned out well!

        I haven’t made this for awhile, but saw celeriac at my co-op the other day and that and now your comment got me thinking I should.

    • You figured it out, but yes, I would use twice the celery root too. I find the flavor of celeriac to be actually rather mild and mellow.

  2. Kendra says:

    I used turkey stock (Kitchen Basics brand) instead of water. I didn’t have enough celery root, so I made up the difference with chopped celery. I also added a chopped onion.

    I purchased some turkey cutlets and placed them on top of the celery root while it was cooking, then removed and chopped up before adding the squash. I also seasoned the turkey cutlets with poultry seasoning.

    I used the remainder of the carton of turkey stock to think the soup.

    My husband said this is like Thanksgiving in a bowl! He’s not easy to impress.
    We both liked this soup. It is certainly different than the soups we’ve had in the past.

  3. Something about cold weather makes me crave soups, and this one looks delicious! Thanks for sharing at the AIP Recipe Roundtable.

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