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'Potpie' soup leverages leftover turkey, vegetables

With a smaller turkey for my household’s Thanksgiving feast, the bird’s transformation into stock will come sooner.

And with stock comes soup: turkey pozole, tortilla soup and wild rice soup are family favorites. But doing double duty with the vegetables typically simmered for stock is Tribune News Service's “potpie soup.”

Consider this more of a flexible formula, a loose concept, than a recipe. Leverage this soup as a repository for leftovers, or start from scratch with raw vegetables, as these directions indicate. If you have leftover roasted carrots or squash, add those at the very end with the peas, rather than at the beginning.

Likewise, you could thicken the soup with about a cup of leftover mashed potatoes, instead of incorporating raw potato. If using mashed potato, add the turkey gravy mix sparingly, gauging how much it thickens, or omit the mix altogether.

Leftover pie dough makes for easy pastry crisps. Lacking pie dough, you could simply garnish this soup with french-fried onions in excess of what topped the holiday’s green bean casserole.

Turkey Potpie Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small onion, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, or preferably homemade turkey stock

1 cup low-fat milk

1 medium to large russet potato, peeled and diced small

2 cups shredded, cubed or bits and pieces of cooked turkey

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/2 (0.87-ounce) packet turkey gravy mix

1 cup frozen peas

Salt and pepper, to taste

Ready-to-roll, refrigerated pie crust (optional), for serving

French-fried onions (optional), for serving

In a soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour. Stir in the broth and milk and heat to just a boil. Stir in the potato, leftover turkey, poultry seasoning and turkey gravy mix. Reduce heat, cover slightly and simmer for about 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, if desired, make pastry crisps for serving by cutting the ready-to-roll refrigerated pie crust into wedges. Place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 F until browned, for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

To finish soup, stir in the peas and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve topped with the french-fried onions and pastry crisps, if desired.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

Tribune News Service photo