Simple Leftover Thanksgiving Soup Recipe: Turkey, Wild Rice and Fennel

Seasonal Soups

Leftover Thanksgiving Soup Recipe: Turkey Wild Rice Soup

I scream it from the rafters EVERY Thanksgiving. Don’t throw away the turkey carcass! Save that gelatinous-rich puppy, make turkey stock, and then a delicious leftover thanksgiving soup recipe.

Because once you have the turkey stock, there’s an almost infinite amount of leftover thanksgiving soup recipes you can make. 

How to Make a Leftover Thanksgiving Soup

1. Make turkey stock the day after Thanksgiving from the turkey carcass (which is the same as making a chicken stock).

2. Add fresh or leftover veggies from your Thanksgiving meal, add leftover turkey meat, add any herbs you want, salt and pepper to taste, and boom!…you have a leftover thanksgiving soup.

Perhaps that oversimplifies things just a bit. There can be a little more to it than that. As an example, here’s a classic recipe for a turkey and wild rice soup with fennel:

Turkey, Wild Rice, and Fennel Soup

I don’t know why celery is so universally used in soups but the more I use fennel, the less I use celery. As opposed to celery’s more bitter flavor, fennel has a wonderful fragrance and subtle anise flavor. It almost always works in fish and shellfish-based soups but it can work just as well in poultry soups too.

Make sure to make the wild rice ahead of time as opposed to cooking it in the broth with the veggies. This prevents the release of starch into the broth which would result in a very thick and sludgy consistency.

Finally, I’d highly recommend a little squeeze of lemon in each individual bowl as a nice complement to the delicate anise flavor.

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

Leftover Thanksgiving Soup Recipe: Turkey Wild Rice Soup

Turkey, Wild Rice and Fennel Soup

This leftover Thanksgiving soup adds fennel in place of celery for a more fragrant and flavorful interpretation.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
CourseMain Course, Soup
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
AuthorCraig Fear


  • 4-5 TBSPs butter
  • 2-3 TBSPs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 fennel bulb cored and stemmed, fronds (the leafy part at the top of the stems) set aside
  • 2 cups mushrooms chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 10 – 12 cups turkey stock
  • 3 cups leftover turkey meat chopped roughly into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 TBSPs fennel fronds reserved from fennel stems, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh parsley loosely packed and chopped
  • 3 cups wild rice cooked
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Individual seasonings, to taste

  • Lemon wedges
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a medium stock pot, heat 4 TBSPs butter and 2 TBSPs olive oil and saute onions, carrots and fennel and mushrooms for about 10 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and garlic and saute another five minutes. Add a little more butter and/or olive oil, if the veggies start sticking to the bottom of the stock pot.
  • Add turkey stock and simmer for about another 10-15 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  • Add turkey meat, fennel fronds and parsley, mix well and simmer another 5 minutes.
  • Add pre-cooked wild rice and mix well.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into individual bowls and season with a squeeze of lemon, additional parsley and salt and pepper, to taste.


Serving: 2cups (1 bowl) | Calories: 4299kcal | Carbohydrates: 506g | Protein: 306g | Fat: 123g | Saturated Fat: 45g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 51g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 667mg | Sodium: 4954mg | Potassium: 9093mg | Fiber: 50g | Sugar: 80g | Vitamin A: 47908IU | Vitamin C: 141mg | Calcium: 583mg | Iron: 28mg
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About the Author

Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.

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