A hearty, meal-worthy dish, Turkey White Bean Soup features layers of flavor, thanks to savory vegetables, beans, and sausage. Perfect for leftover turkey or even a rotisserie chicken.
Have lots of turkey leftovers this year? No problem! In my world, sides are the best part of Thanksgiving, and the turkey is best used for the weekend’s leftovers.
And I can think of no more noble use for leftovers than creating a hearty, delicious, bone-warming soup!
This turkey white bean soup is easy to make, but is restaurant-quality, thanks to the layers of flavor and umami.
Loaded with vegetables, beans, and rich tomato paste, it’s a meal you can feel great about serving to your family. Just a few ingredients add loads of flavor:
- Fennel – a completely underappreciated vegetable imo, fennel adds a gentle astringent sweetness to a dish. Its flavor resembles licorice, yes, but not cloyingly so, and it certainly doesn’t make the soup taste like Red Vines, lol.
- Smoked Sausage – I used turkey smoked sausage here to extend the turkey theme and to rein in the nutrition values, but you can use any variety you prefer for this turkey soup.
- Tomato paste – tomato paste is a very useful flavoring ingredient for soups, as its natural umami adds concentrated savory richness to any dish.
- Great Northern beans – you can definitely substitute canned white cannellini beans if you prefer, but I love simple beany goodness of the Great Northern bean. They add a tender bite and tons of protein.
- Spices – don’t neglect the herbs and spices in this dish, as just a few take this soup from tasty to lip-smackin’ good!
This soup should stay on your menu long after Thanksgiving: in the deep heart of winter, you can substitute rotisserie chicken for the turkey, for a hearty weeknight meal.
More Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas:
Turkey White Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 ounces smoked sausage , sliced into half moons (turkey, pork or beef, your choice)
- 1 small white or yellow onions , chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb , trimmed and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 15 ounces canned great northern beans , rinsed and drained, divided
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
- 3 cups cooked turkey , shredded or chopped
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley , for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 4 to 5 qt Dutch oven over medium until shimmering.
- Add the smoked sausage and cook until the edges are golden. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions and fennel and saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Scoot the vegetables to one side and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the cleared space.
- Spoon the tomato paste into the oil and sprinkle the smoked paprika and a big pinch of salt over the top. Stir the tomato paste to let caramelize a bit while the spices bloom, then stir into the vegetable mixture.
- Measure out 1 cup of the beans and set aside; add the rest to the pot, along with about half of the broth.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. Add the remaining beans and broth, plus the oregano/marjoram.
- Increase heat to bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cooked turkey, along with the reserved smoked sausage.
- Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference with salt and pepper.
- Just prior to serving, sprinkle the parsley over the top of the soup.