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Celery and Turkey Soup Recipes

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Celery, turkey, sweet potato and green bean soup with cranberry toast is a perfectly themed soup for Thanksgiving

Celery, turkey, sweet potato and green bean soup with cranberry toast is a perfectly themed soup for Thanksgiving

Celery is a very common addition to stocks that are ultimately used for making soups of endless different varieties. Unfortunately, celery is far less commonly used as an ingredient in the soup itself. Why should this be so? The reason why celery is commonly used in stock is for its distinctive, robust and complementary flavours so surely this represents a very powerful case for including it in the actual soup?

The recipes on this page all feature celery prominently, along with another ingredient which is again often underutilised by being associated only with the annual celebrations that are Christmas and Thanksgiving—turkey.

Fresh turkey stock ready for making soup

Fresh turkey stock ready for making soup

How to Make Turkey Stock

In order to make any of the recipes on this page, you will need turkey meat but you will also require a proper stock and what better than turkey stock? The stock recipe below was prepared with a turkey thigh, the meat from which was not only sufficient to prepare all three soups, it provided a very tasty sandwich straight from the pot...

If you have leftover turkey meat but no means of making turkey stock, chicken stock can very effectively be substituted.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 15 min

45 min

2 hours

Approximately four pints of turkey stock

Ingredients

  • 1 whole turkey thigh
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, washed and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, washed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 pints cold water

Instructions

  1. Wash the turkey thigh and put it in to a soup or stock pot. Add the vegetables, seasonings and pour in the water. Ensure the turkey is completely covered with water and add a little more if necessary.
  2. Put the pot on a high heat until the water reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat, put the lid on the pot and maintain a gentle simmer for forty-five minutes.
  3. After three-quarters of an hour, simply turn off the heat and leave the pot alone for a further hour. The turkey thighs completes cooking as the liquid very slowly cools and remains moist.
  4. A carving fork and large slotted spoon are the best tools for lifting the turkey thigh to a large plate. Cover it and leave it to cool completely.
  5. Suspend a sieve over a large bowl and very carefully strain the still fairly hot stock. Discard all the solids.
  6. Ideally, what you should do now is cover the bowl of stock, let it cool and then refrigerate it overnight. You will see from the photos above that this allows all the impurities to congeal and even solidify on the top. They can simply be carefully skimmed off on day two and discarded.
UK pint measurement of turkey stock

UK pint measurement of turkey stock

A Word about Measurements

UK and US food measurements are not the same. While on occasion a difference is obvious by the word(s) used, pint measurements can be confusing. The British imperial pints referred to on this page are equal to twenty fluid ounces (568ml metric), or one and one-quarter US imperial pints. Care should be taken therefore where appropriate when measuring out the stock for the recipes featured below.

Celery, Turkey and Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

Celery, turkey and cannellini bean soup with wholemeal bread

Celery, turkey and cannellini bean soup with wholemeal bread

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 30 min

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of celery, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans in water
  • 1 pint fresh turkey stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped turkey thigh meat
  • Leaves from one celery bulb, roughly chopped
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Bread to serve

Instructions

  1. Pour the cannellini beans into a colander in the sink and rinse thoroughly under running cold water.
  2. Add half the cannellini beans only, the chopped celery and the turkey stock to a large pot. Bring to a gentle simmer for ten minutes.
  3. Important: Blending hot liquids can be problematic, including the lid potentially flying off the food processor. Either be sure to hold it down very tightly or let the soup cool for half an hour at this stage before proceeding.
  4. Carefully pour the stock, celery and beans into your food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Return to the pot.
  5. Add the remaining beans and the turkey to the pot and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Stir in most of the chopped celery leaves, keeping a little back to garnish.
  6. Taste the soup and season as required with salt and white pepper.
  7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the remaining celery leaves and serve with fresh bread.
Celery, turkey and green bean soup is served with cranberry toast

Celery, turkey and green bean soup is served with cranberry toast

Celery, Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

The slight Thanksgiving theme to this soup recipe is quite deliberate. This is more than anything to provide a potential and original idea for using up what may be Thanksgiving leftovers. First of all, you could use a piece of the turkey carcass to make your stock instead of a fresh thigh, a leg or thigh bone being ideal. You can then incorporate any sweet potatoes and green beans you weren't required to prepare for the Thanksgiving table in the soup along with some leftover turkey and use up any remaining cranberry sauce or jelly on the toast.

Alternatively, of course, this recipe can be prepared and enjoyed exactly as it was here at any time of year.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 30 min

Ready in: 40 min

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint fresh turkey stock
  • 3 tablespoons diced turkey thigh meat
  • 12 trimmed green beans (approximately), chopped to one inch pieces
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 inch thick slices from bread stick as required, lightly toasted
  • Cranberry sauce or jelly for spreading on toast
  • Finely sliced basil leaves to garnish

Instructions

  1. Put the celery, sweet potato and turkey stock into a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the sweet potato is just softened. This will take fifteen to twenty minutes.
  2. Blend until smooth and return to the soup pot.
  3. Add the turkey and green beans top the pot and bring the soup back to a simmer for five minutes. Taste and season.
  4. Start the bread toasting while you ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the chopped basil.
  5. Spread the cranberry sauce or jelly on the toast and serve along with the soup.
Celery, turkey and chestnut soup

Celery, turkey and chestnut soup

Celery, Turkey and Chestnut Soup Recipe

If the recipe above was in any way dedicated to Thanksgiving, this one may apply in a similar way to Christmas. Have you been roasting chestnuts on an open fire before your Christmas turkey lunch or dinner? Any leftovers? In this instance, as you will see, the chestnuts were bought ready cooked and this is imperative. Do not use uncooked chestnuts in this recipe.

This soup may also look a little plain compared to the two preceding recipes. That is deliberate, simply to show that well seasoned, robustly flavoured soups do not necessarily need dressing up prior to being served. A simple herb garnish could, of course, be added if required, or even a swirl of creme fraiche.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 30 min

Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
  • 8 ounces of cooked chestnuts
  • 1 pint of fresh turkey stock
  • 3 tablespoons chopped turkey thigh
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the celery into a pot. Keep six of the chestnuts back and add the rest to the pot with the celery, along with the turkey stock.
  2. Bring to a simmer for ten minutes then blend before returning to the pot.
  3. Slice the six remaining chestnuts and add to the pot along with the turkey.
  4. Bring back to a simmer for five minutes to heat the turkey and chestnuts through.
  5. Taste, season, ladle into bowls and serve.