Healing Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup is made from scratch and packed with nutrients. Make a pot (or two!) of this healing soup recipe with Thanksgiving leftovers and your choice of vegetables. Perfect for winter colds or anytime you want an extra boost of vitamins and minerals for whole body health.

a bowl of healing turkey vegetable soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

Years ago, our household was laid up on the sofa with an awful flu, and I was not prepared. My husband and I were both too ill to cook anything and had to rely on takeout. It was not a healthy way to heal, and I made a mental note to freeze a massive amount of soup for next time!

Now, I always make a few pots of homemade turkey vegetable soup, which is one of the healthiest and most beneficial soups a person can make. It has special healing properties from every single ingredient — homemade bone broth, shredded poultry, loads of veggies, lentils, quinoa, and dried herbs.

If you’re planning on cooking up this turkey vegetable soup after a turkey dinner, but you’re not sure where to start, check out this guide to How To Cook a Turkey Like a Boss.

Why You Will Love Homemade Turkey Soup

  • Incredibly healthy – a healing soup packed with nutrients
  • Zero waste – uses every part of the bird
  • Make ahead – have some now and freeze the rest for later
  • Versatile – swap out any vegetables you have on hand
boiling leftover turkey and bones for soup

How To Make Healing Soup

I really enjoy learning about the health benefits of certain foods and why we should include them in our diets. I can also appreciate that nothing goes to waste when it comes to making turkey vegetable soup, even the turkey carcass.

Start with the bone broth

Boiling the bones, fat, and skin makes the deepest and richest broth possible. The longer you let it simmer, the better.

The best bone broth I have ever made was when I boiled the bones for 12 hours! I had to add more water every once in a while, but all the nutrients were incredibly concentrated in the turkey stock.

Choose your vegetables

On top of the bone broth, you have your vegetables — which we all know are good for you. Because they boil in the stock, this homemade turkey soup has even more minerals which makes it that much more healing.

The choice of vegetables is really a personal preference. I love carrots in my soup for added sweetness and because they are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. My son loves corn, so I added some for him, plus some green beans for a bit of color.

The best thing about this old fashioned turkey soup recipe is that it’s versatile. Don’t like the vegetables I used? Don’t use them! You can easily customize the recipe to what works best for your family.

Add some bulk

When I first threw this homemade turkey vegetable soup together, my fridge and pantry were pretty bare! I grabbed some lentils and quinoa (great sources of fiber and protein) to use as “fillers” for the soup. It made this meal wholesome, healthy, and extra filling.

Wild or brown rice would make a great addition as well. Because rice cooks faster, I would suggest preparing it in a separate pot and adding a scoop to each bowl before serving.

pot of homemade turkey soup on the stove

Frequently Asked Questions about Old Fashioned Turkey Soup

Why is bone broth so healing?

Boiling bones is incredibly healthy for you.

  • It helps heal (and in a sense) “seal” your gut. Digestion is the door to optimal health, and repairing and restoring our digestive system is very important.
  • It reduces joint pain from the glucosamine extracted from the cartilage.
  • Extracts the magnesium and calcium from the bones of the turkey and replenishes your own body with those minerals.
  • It also helps with hair and nail health, fights infections, and reduces inflammation.

Those are just a few of the medicinal qualities that bone broth has — it is very healing. And let’s not forget that the aroma and warmth from the bowl feel just as healing too!

What is the difference between stock and bone broth?

Stock and bone broth are very similar with one main difference — vegetables! Any meat stock (chicken, turkey, or beef) is made by simmering the bones, meat, and a variety of vegetables for several hours. This produces a flavorful liquid base that can be used in a wide variety of recipes.

Bone broth is made by simmering just the meaty bones in water, and the liquid is cooked for much longer. Between the collagen from the bones and the extended cooking time, bone broth is often thicker and more viscous than traditional broth or stock.

Can you freeze homemade turkey vegetable soup?

Absolutely! In fact, that’s typically what I do when I make a big batch of this old fashioned turkey soup. I love to keep individual and family-size servings on hand for whenever an illness makes its way through the house.

Once prepared, divide your homemade turkey soup into freezer-safe containers and allow it to cool. Be sure to leave about an inch of room at the top of each container — liquid expands when frozen, and you don’t want your containers to burst!

Store turkey vegetable soup in the freezer for 4 to 6 months, then thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Simmer on the stove until warmed through.

More Homemade Soup Recipes:

Creamy Turkey Soup Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Red Wine

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup - This soup recipe will heal what ail's ya in a hurry. It's a great way to use turkey leftovers from Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving. The bone broth is healing, and the vegetables provide more nutrients. Make lots and freeze so you have back ups in a pinch! Recipe found at The Bewitchin' Kitchen.
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4 from 7 votes

Turkey Vegetable Soup

Homemade turkey vegetable soup is packed with nutrients. Make this healing soup with bone broth, tender meat, and your choice of veggies.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy soup, soup, turkey, turkey leftovers, turkey vegetable soup
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 82kcal


  • 1 turkey carcass bones, skin, drumsticks, etc
  • 8 cups water enough to cover the turkey parts
  • 1 onion sliced in half
  • 3-4 carrots diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • chicken base to taste (you can also use boullion)
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1/4 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup quinoa


  • For The Bone Broth:
  • Break apart your turkey carcass and place in soup pot (I had to use two). We don’t eat dark meat, so I added the drumsticks in there as well. Fill with water. Chop an onion in half and add that if desired. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and let it do it’s thing for a few hours (the longer the better) This time I did mine for roughly 12 hours, but in the past I have done a total of 24 (boiled for half a day, cooled and put in the fridge and then boiled the next). You may have to keep adding water.
  • Strain the broth and set aside. Pick through the meat and add to the broth.
  • For The Soup:
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pan (with the turkey meat and broth). You may have to add more water. The amount of bouillon is really up to you, as every batch needs a different amount. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Simmer for at least an hour.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3979IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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31 comments on “Healing Turkey Vegetable Soup”

  1. I love making home made soups…. I made turkey stock after cooking our meal this weekend and put it in the freezer for later use

  2. So glad you posted this! We didn’t have turkey for thanksgiving but I am making one tomorrow and I love using the leftovers for a good soup but haven’t really had a great recipe to use. I will definitely try this one now!

  3. This is what I will make with my turkey leftovers. I just had turkey for lunch. LOL. Now I will make soup. I never knew that boiling the bones made a difference in terms of helping your gut. That’s very impressive actually. I learned something eyer today. Thanks.

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever made a soup out of a carcass, nor did I know the health benefits of using the bones. I love the idea of using everything and not just carving off the white meat and calling it a day. Your recipe sounds excellent.

  5. Your soup looks wonderful! I will definitely try it. I usually make my own broth too. Thank you for sharing it with us at Foodie Fridays! Pinning and sharing!

  6. Randa I can tell you this in all honesty..I love this post and this recipe! Anyone who knows me knows that I really don’t like to cook, and even when I do it never turns out, lOL. I think part of the problem is that I never know what to make. This Turkey soup looks and sounds so delish and I think I am going to give it a whirl.

  7. We just made some soup with our Thanksgiving leftovers! I had no idea boiling the bones was so good for you!

  8. Thank you for sharing this kind of delectable dish. Perhaps its time to add this great menu for our upcoming reunion party. 🙂

  9. This looks so delicious, hearty and wholesome. Too bad Thanksgiving dinner this year was seafood lasagna!

  10. Turkey soup is one soup I’ve never made, maybe I’ll take it on after Christmas this year

  11. That sounds excellent. All except for the turkey. I don’t touch that stuff. I would use chicken breast. Thanks for the recipe.

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  13. Yum! I could use a bowl of that right now!!

  14. Looks tasty. I will be making this when it cools off a little more here.

  15. i have heard about boiling bones before but and that it has many benefits but didnt know they were so many thank u for opening my eyes when it comes to cooking not just to enjoy a meal but to enjoy something that would do good for ur body.

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  17. Love this idea – I can smell it now! Will be reading more of your healthy tips for sure Visiting from freshmommyblog.com

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  20. I’ve made turkey or chicken stock several times now and love it! But I was ready to try an actual soup recipe – this sounds perfect, especially for our random snow day here in Tennessee. =) 

  21. I have never eaten turkey much. We made one and just two weeks ago I found I have brain cancer. We did not know any correlation was made with turkey. It was after I’d stuffed myself with this new I can’t stay away from this stuff. By the evening I was in absolutely no pain anywhere. I told my other it’s got to be this turkey. I didn’t understand so I decided to just take a peak at what I could find. Wow!!! Just make the turkey carkus soup.y mentioned to me the many benefits to me. I was floored. I do know that it’s not a cure for cancer but the complete pain free day, I’ll be having atleasy a cup a day. Thank you SO very much for shairing what you know. It has made my world open up to a level like no other.

    • Wow Tammy, wow. From what I know of food and nutrition I’m not sure if it’s the turkey soup or what but all I care about is that you’re feeling better. This makes me so happy to hear <3

  22. Seems like cooking quinoa over an hour will result in no quinoa left but I’ll try it..making this right now..thanks for recipe

  23. 5 stars
    I made this soup today and followed the recipe but added fresh kale a few minutes prior to serving. This is the first time I made broth from the wings and legs from our left over Thanksgiving turkey. It was delicious soup and I will be making it again! Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

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