Spiced soup chases away winter chills, uses leftovers

Posted June 14

Recently, I had a fun conversation about leftovers with a good friend. "Not enough room in my fridge … no time to fuss over them … my family simply won't touch leftovers." I smiled when she offered me a huge pouch of turkey from her Sunday family gathering.

The next morning, I pulled out my slow cooker and started to get creative. I wanted to marry seasonings while whipping up a new twist to my very basic soup recipe. I had everything I needed in my pantry and fridge. Not only did I use up her turkey, but also I used up the vegetables I had on hand. This recipe can be tweaked to your liking — use more or less vegetables; add more or less cooked beef or poultry.

Take the suggested seasoning measurements and fit them to your family's taste palate. You are the chef. Serve in bread bowls with crackers or croutons. Top with cheese or seeds. Use egg, wheat or gluten-free wide noodles or pasta. Give this soup just a few stirs while it cooks and you tackle your busy day. Turmeric and sweet leaf basil have some health benefits as well as waking up the flavors.

Embrace holiday meat leftovers. Portion and freeze for another day. And when people ask for seconds, try not to tell them they're having leftovers for dinner.


Shannon's Spiced Soup Recipe

2 generous tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 carrots, washed, sliced

3 ribs of celery, washed, sliced (I use the tender leaves on the stalks, chopped)

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

2-3 cups cooked roast beef, chicken or turkey meat, cubed

Black pepper to taste

3 cans (14.5 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth (if using chicken or turkey meat) or low-sodium beef broth (if using roast beef)

1 teaspoon sweet leaf basil

1/8-¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

1½-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2½ cups wide egg noodles, uncooked

In slow cooker on high setting, add the first six ingredients. Stir well, allowing the grapeseed oil to coat the vegetables, then cover. Let these flavors "marry" for 90 minutes. While setting is still on high, continue to cook, adding the cans of broth, basil, turmeric and mustard. Blend with a whisk until you are satisfied that everything has been mixed well together. Cook one hour more. Reduce heat to low, stir, cover and let your soup cook for three more hours. Add wide noodles 45 minutes before you serve it.

Slow cookers can vary in heating elements. Make sure your noodles are thoroughly cooked before serving. This recipe feeds six to eight polite people or four hungry people.

Shannon M. Smurthwaite is a Southern California native, a freelance writer and the author of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook." Her food blog is at She and her husband, Donald, live in Idaho. Email:


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