Turkey Dinner Soup

This one’s another sappy “grandma used to make this” one so feel free to Skip To Recipe.

My Oma’s gravy is legendary, but we only ever got it on holidays involving a turkey dinner, namely Christmas and Thanksgiving. Since Oma passed, gravy duty has fallen to me on Thanksgiving.

Canadian Thanksgiving was a month ago and while making the gravy and day dreaming about just eating it straight up with a spoon it hit me that this gravy is basically a thicker roasted vegetable soup.

Thinning the gravy out with more turkey stock would be easy, but a big component of the flavour is that the vegetables are roasted underneath the turkey, which itself is stuffed with seasoned stuffing. I don’t want to roast a whole ass turkey just to make soup, so instead I figured I could season the vegetables with stuffing seasoning, roast, emulsify and simmer in turkey broth.

Turkey broth as product is apparently hard to come by in Toronto. I could do a fortified stock with a roasted turkey leg, but now I have a turkey leg to deal with. I suppose that could be shredded and made into turkey salad, but I don’t want to write a recipe that calls for a whole turkey leg and then is like “I dunno, make a salad tomorrow?”

Then a friend mentioned serving actual stuffing on top of the soup, so I figured might as well throw the shredded turkey in there too for more fun.

That’s a lot of salt and fat now, we’ll need an acid component. It needs to be bright, but can’t mix too easily into the other flavours and sweeten them uniformly. Like doing laundry and turning your whites pink with a single red sock. I want to keep the broth savoury, but have little bright splashes acid, to simulate the same experience of a full turkey dinner plate when you get a bit of cranberry sauce on your fork full of potatoes and gravy. With Leek and Pea Soup with Basil Oil and Sour Cream I was introduced to the idea of a flavoured oil as a final garnish. So I did that with cranberry and sage instead of basil. Now all the components are here, a whole turkey dinner, re-imagined as soup!

And then I remembered this isn’t the first time I’ve done this.

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Canadian
Servings: 5



  • 3 very large carrot peeled
  • 2 large onion yellow cooking
  • 4 stalk celery
  • 9 g chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme fresh
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary dried, ground
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • olive oil


  • 2 Turkey Leg
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 loaf sour dough several days old, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/3 cup butter

Cranberry Sage Oil

  • 200 ml cranberry sauce
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sage fresh, leaves only

The Soup

  • 1 l chicken stock
  • splash lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 450F

The Vegetables

  • Chop everything in similar sized pieces, I did around 1/2 inch
  • Add everything to a large mixing bowl and coat liberally with olive oil
  • Mix together all spices in a separate bowl then toss vegetables in the spice mix
  • Add vegetables to a deep 13" baking dish and set aside

The Turkey

  • Season the turkey on all sides with salt and pepper, place a wire rack on the vegetable baking dish and arrange the turkey legs evenly spaced in the center of the rack (see image above) This is important because we want the turkey to drip all its juices down onto the veg as it all roasts
  • Roast everything for 20 mins uncovered
  • Remove dish from oven, tent with foil and return to oven for another 20-30 minutes or until turkey legs are 165F at center
  • remove from oven and set aside.

The Oil

  • Blend all ingredients together until fully emulsified, adjust consistency as needed with more oil

The Croutons

  • In batches toast croutons in butter on medium until toasted to desired darkness. One thing to note about these is they harder they are the better, because you want them to still have crunch and chew after sitting in the soup for awhile

The Soup

  • Add the stock to a large soup pot
  • Once the turkey and veg are roasted strip all meat from the bones, then add the bones and the veg to the bot and bring to simmer, then simmer covered for 20 minutes
  • While the soup simmers, roughly chop the turkey into 1/2" pieces, removing any grizzle and other less desirable pieces. Hard to chew pieces will really stand out in the final dish
  • After simmering is done, remove the bones from the pot and discard, then use an emulsion blender to fully emulsify


  • Ladle soup into wide bowls, pile chopped turkey and croutons in the center and drizzle cranberry oil around the outside (around the outside)