7 Soups You Can Make Using Last Night’s Supper Scraps
Dinner leftovers can sometimes cause a kitchen conundrum. You don’t want to eat the same meal two days in a row, but you also don’t want to waste the leftover food or the hours of stove slavery that went along with it. Luckily, there’s a win-win solution that will let you put your extras to good use without having to repeat last night’s meal. You can use everything from extra meat to vegetables and pasta to create hearty soups that your family will love. Here are seven soup recipes that let you use last night’s leftovers.
1. Ham Bone Soup
AllRecipes.com user TOOTSWEET13 shares a great way to use your leftovers from last night’s ham dinner by combining a ham bone with veggies, beans, and chicken bouillon. Simply toss these items into a slow cooker in the morning, and you’ll come home to a ready-to-serve meal and a wonderful smelling kitchen. The recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1 ham bone with some meat
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 (15.25-ounce) can kidney beans
- 3 potatoes, cubed
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
- 4 cups water
- 6 cubes chicken bouillon
Directions: Place the ham bone, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes, and green pepper into a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water, and pour into the slow cooker. Cover, and cook on high until warm. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for 5 to 6 hours.
2. Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from a Leftover Roasted Chicken
There’s nothing more comforting than sitting down to a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It also happens to be a great way to use up any leftover roasted chicken you have laying around. To make Christine Gallary’s recipe via Chow, which yields 4 to 6 servings, you’ll brown the bones from your roasted chicken carcass, resulting in a stock that has a deep and complex flavor. Looking to add a little flair to your dish? We recommend serving it in Baker Bettie’s Homemade Bread Bowls.
- 1 roasted chicken carcass, meat removed and reserved for the soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- ½ medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and medium dice
- 2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
- ½ medium yellow onion, medium dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried egg noodles (about 2 ounces)
Directions: Using a cleaver or kitchen scissors, break up the carcass into several smaller pieces so that they will fit in an even layer in the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven; set aside. Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carcass pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned all over, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, occasionally skimming any scum off the surface of the stock using a large spoon. Cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the stock at a simmer, until the flavors have developed, about 1½ hours. Remove and discard any large pieces of carcass. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a 2-quart saucepan and pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the contents of the strainer.
To make the soup, bring the stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, measured salt, and thyme, season with pepper, and stir to combine. Return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.
While the vegetables and noodles cook, shred the reserved chicken meat from the carcass into bite-size pieces. Reserve 1½ cups for the soup; save the rest for another use. When the vegetables are tender, add the drained noodles and shredded chicken, stir to combine, and return the soup to a simmer. Cook until the flavors meld, about 5 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
3. Next-Day Turkey Soup with Mashed Potato Polpetti
Already wondering what you’re going to with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Celeb Chef Michael Chiarello’s recipe via Food Network has got you covered. It lets you reuse a wide variety of foods, including gravy, potatoes, vegetables, and turkey. If you don’t have all of those extras available, you can also make them fresh.
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
- 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
- 1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 stalk, minced
- 1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups dark turkey meat
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups leftover cooked side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties)
Mashed Potato Polpetti (Patties):
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- Grey salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Leftover gravy, for serving
Directions: Put the chicken broth, turkey, carrot halves, celery stalk, onion halves, and 1 bay leaf in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, about 1½ hours. Dice the turkey meat. Make sure the meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soup spoon. Before straining the broth, remove the large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve covered with a wet cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Transfer the broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher, longer.
This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day. In a large soup pot, heat the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Allow to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the minced carrots, celery, and onions. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, 7 or 8 minutes. Dice the leftover vegetables. Add the sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add the Brussels sprouts, green beans, and diced turkey meat to the soup.
Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam, 5-7 minutes. Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve with the mashed potato polpetti. Re-season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese. Take a mayonnaise or peanut butter lid and line with plastic wrap to use as a mold. Pack the potato mixture into the lid, unwrap it and place the patty on a baking sheet.
You may refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap until the next day, or fry immediately. To cook, dredge the patties in flour. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Just before frying, dredge the patties again with flour. Add the patties to the oil without crowding them. Cook until the underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with leftover gravy. Makes 6 servings.
4. Leftover Pork and Black Bean Taco Soup
Food.com user viviansmomma’s recipe calls for leftover ham, but you can also use extra pork, chicken, or beef when preparing this fiesta-style soup. Anticipate spending a few minutes preparing this dish, and then sit back and relax while it simmers.
- 1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans black beans)
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups cooked pork
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 small onion
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream
Directions: For dry black beans, rinse and sort. Soak them in 6 cups of water. Simmer on medium for about 1 hour until tender. If using canned beans, place them in the pot with 4-5 cups of water. Chop onion. Add all remaining ingredients except salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes and salt to taste. Garnish bowl with shredded cheese and sour cream.
5. Spicy Steak House Soup Recipe
Is there anything better than enjoying last night’s steak dinner in soup form? Taste of Home’s rich recipe has a welcome kick to it thanks to the cayenne pepper, ground cumin, and chili powder. It yields 2 servings.
- ¼ pound beef tenderloin, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1½ cups peeled potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
- ¼ cup steak sauce
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Directions: In a large nonstick saucepan, sauté the beef, onion, and salt in oil for 4 to 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the potatoes, broth, steak sauce, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Garnish with parsley.
6. Leftover Penne Pasta Soup
If you have extra penne, Noble Pig’s recipe allows you to use your leftover noodles to create an easy supper.
- Leftover penne pasta
- Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth or stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sturdy shredded greens, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, or chicory
Directions: Add your leftover penne pasta to your soup pan and cover with broth. Season with freshly ground pepper and bring to a good simmer. Add as many greens as you like and continue to simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
7. Light Turkey and Corn Chowder
Using leftover turkey or chicken, you can create a chowder that’s healthier than most versions. Cookin’ Canuck’s recipe is thick and creamy, and bursting with the taste of turkey, corn, green chiles, and cayenne pepper. It yields 6 servings, with each containing just 218.5 calories and 6.6 grams of fat.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1¼ cups frozen corn kernels
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 2½ cups shredded cooked turkey (or chicken)
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)