• Move Over Chicken Noodle Soup

    Move Over Chicken Noodle Soup

    There’s nothing quite like 3-day old Thanksgiving turkey to make you swear you’ll buy a smaller bird next year. Every year I vow to get a more appropriately sized turkey for our family gathering, and every year I’m still faced with Pyrex dishes of turkey for days. Thankfully, this year I had a plan for those leftovers that had finally overstayed their welcome.  

    Using a recipe from the November issue of Southern Living magazine, I finished off the last of the Thanksgiving turkey and created a filling soup that was quite satisfying. The best part? It’s a simple slow cooker recipe, so once you prepare the main portion of it you can go about your day as it cooks and fills your house with hearty aromas. For our family that day consisted of buying a Christmas tree, setting up indoor decorations and outdoor lights, and doing some online gift shopping, all while keeping a nap-refusing 5-month-old entertained.  

    Full disclosure: I’m not always the most prepared chef. Nor am I a great one. I do what I can and make do with what I have. For this recipe I made the following adjustments….

    • I didn’t have self-rising flour; I only had all-purpose. If you find yourself in a similar situation, make your own self-rising flour by adding 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
    • I didn’t have buttermilk; I only had 2% milk. I added 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of 2% milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. If you don’t have white vinegar, you could also use lemon juice.
    • I used garlic powder instead of minced garlic. I have an active 5 month old….time is limited and I’m lucky to do what I can.
    • The original recipe has you add cornstarch to thicken the broth….I skipped this step. Again, active 5 month old.

    Second full disclosure: My dumplings did not look nearly as formed or photogenic as the magazine’s recipe photo. While my dumplings were edible, I did wish that they had more substance to them. I take full credit for this blunder and chalk it up to the lack of self-rising flour; I also could have probably mixed in more flour to make the dough thicker. Next time I may simplify the process even more by skipping the dumplings and instead using egg noodles or tortellini. With all that said, the soup was tasty, easy, and one that I would definitely make again. 


    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
    • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (approximately 1 small onion)
    • 1 cup chopped carrots (approximately 3 medium carrots)
    • 1 cup chopped celery (approximately 2 large stalks)
    • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
    • ¼ cup cornstarch
    • 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    • ¾ cup whole buttermilk
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


    1. Place chicken broth, cooked turkey, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and dried thyme in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW until turkey and vegetables are tender, 6 to 7 hours.
    2. Whisk together ¼ cup water, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into turkey mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH until mixture begins to simmer, about 10 minutes. 
    3. Whisk together self-rising flour and black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until combined. Stir in melted butter until just combined. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter into simmering soup. Cover and cook on HIGH until a wooden pick inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

    Eat and enjoy!