Holiday Cooking with Chef Neff: Leftover turkey and collard soup

Once you’re tired of turkey sandwiches and casseroles, what’s left to do with the Thanksgiving leftovers? Chef Dean Neff of Wilmington’s Seabird restaurant recently met with WWAY’s Donna Gregory to demonstrate a cool way to make a hot soup. It’s comfort food for the whole family, and it freezes well, too! Garnish it with leftover stuffing and you have a one-pot meal that treats your family like company! Here’s his recipe:

Leftover Turkey Soup

Feel free to freestyle on this one and substitute other side items as long as they are not too sweet. I love finishing this soup with some crispy stuffing just before serving. The sweated mirepoix is super handy to have on hand to add lots of flavor to soups, sauces, or even your gravy. I take time to mince the vegetables more uniformly when leaving them in the soup as opposed to pureeing or straining it out.


3 cups pulled or diced turkey

2 cups sweated mirepoix*

2 cups cooked collard greens or kale

2 medium gold potatoes (baked and cubed)

2 cups diced cooked winter squash or sweet potatoes

6 cups turkey stock

1 ½ cups cream

2 tablespoons chopped thyme


Toasted Stuffing to garnish(optional)


Add all ingredients in a large soup pot and gently simmer  for 20 minutes to 1 hour while stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with leftover stuffing (optional), and serve hot.


For the sweated mirepoix…

1 large leek cleaned and minced

2 ribs of celery minced

1 medium carrot minced

1 bulb of fennel minced (optional)

2 tablespoons whole butter

In a medium pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the minced vegetables, and cook while stirring frequently until translucent, but not brown (about 10-12 minutes).

Roast Turkey (Photo: Gerry / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover

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