By now, most of you have either eaten, tired of, or frozen those leftovers from last week’s Thanksgiving feasts. A card-carrying Thanksgiving leftovers fan, I actually look forward to the days & weeks after the big day as much as I anticipate the holiday itself. Between My Mom’s Arroz con Pavo and a couple newer leftovers recipes, I never have a boring month of sad turkey sandwiches or congealed stuffing.
Even so, I like variety and usually end up using my leftovers in a “new” way. Last year it was Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. The year before it was my Spicy Turkey Chipotle Pepper Soup. This year I gleaned inspiration from both and made a mashed potato soup with some turkey thrown in for protein & extra flavor.
Why it never occurred to me to try this before is beyond me. It’s incredibly simple to prepare, and a logical way to use up mashed potatoes and any turkey stock or broth you might have left over. In my version, I also used leftover sweet potatoes, peas and carrots to get as close to a leftovers-only soup as I could without getting carried away. I found these chunks of veggies gave my little soup color, texture and some added nutrients I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
You’ll notice this soup doesn’t look as rich as some other cream of potato or other mashed potato soup recipes, but there’s a very good reason for that: FAT! There are some good looking recipes out there, but they’re all so full of cream and butter and bacon that a Lipitor is almost required just to look at them (don’t get me wrong, those things are all tasty, but egads! So not good for you!).
By cutting out a lot of those heavier ingredients and substituting lean turkey broth made from scratch, this version is a lot lighter than traditional mashed potato soups but retains 100% of its flavor. I do use some nonfat milk, just to give it a bit more richness and a less translucent appearance, but otherwise, the creaminess in this soup comes right from the mashed taters themselves.
If you don’t know how to make stocks or broths from scratch (or if you’ve already thrown away your turkey carcass), no worries! A) You can use chicken broth (or vegetable, if you’re vegetarian), and B) I’ll finally be posting that tutorial next week, so you’ll learn soon! In the meantime, let’s check out how easy it is to turn boring leftovers into a warm bowl of comfort food goodness.
Creamy Mashed Potato & Turkey Soup (makes 4-6 servings; total cost per serving: $1)Don’t feel like you can only have this after Thanksgiving! Mashed potatoes are a common enough staple to be served in households year ’round, so if you come across a big batch of leftovers, this is a great way to use them.
2 c leftover mashed potatoes
2 c turkey broth (chicken or veggie will also work)
2 c nonfat milk
1 T light cooking oil
1/2 c diced yellow onion
1 c peas
1/2 c diced carrots
1/2 c diced sweet potatoes
1 c diced or shredded turkey meat
1/2 t herbes de provence
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot, then add the onion and herbes de provence. Saute for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the carrots and sweet potatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the carrots and sweet potatoes have softened.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes and milk and stir until creamy & smooth (this will make it easier to mix in with the rest of the soup). Add the turkey broth to the pot-ful of veggies, then slowly mix in the mashed potato & milk mixture.
3. Gently stir the soup until everything is combined and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, add the peas and simmer for another minute or so, until everything is heated through. Check for flavors & adjust according to taste with salt & pepper.
4. Serve generous amounts of soup in bowls or mugs and garnish with plenty of freshly ground pepper. Serve with warm, crusty bread and a small salad, and enjoy!