Kitchen Makeover! Using up Christmas leftovers Part II

turkey macaroni

We’ve already seen why the success to Christmas leftovers comes down to giving your leftovers a radical makeover.

But if you’re not a fan of curried turkey, this soup could be the choice for you!

Ham (or Turkey) and Macaroni Soup

This is an easy way to transform leftover vegetables and ham or turkey into a warming, winter macaroni soup – perfect on a cold, winter’s day served with generously buttered bread.

Though you could use cubes for this, it seems a waste not to make stock from leftover turkey bones, so there’s a recipe here for that too. One turkey will produce a few litres of quality stock and what’s not used up immediately will freeze well.


1 tbsp olive oil
2 small red onions, peeled & finely diced
1 leek, trimmed, washed & sliced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed, washed & sliced
2 carrots, peeled cut in half lengthwise & chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
Couple sprigs of thyme & sage
1 bayleaf
A length of lemon zest
1l turkey or ham stock
200g macaroni
400g leftover ham (or turkey or a mixture of both), shredded
Any leftover roast vegetables roughly chopped
Leftover sprouts roughly chopped
Small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
Parmesan to serve, grated


  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan.
  • Add the onions and soften over a low heat for about 7 minutes.
  • Add the leek, celery and carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes over a high heat, stirring now and then.
  • Next, add the garlic, herbs and ribbon of lemon zest and stir for a couple of minutes.
  • Pour in the stock, season lightly and bring to a simmer – simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook the macaroni until only just done.
  • After the soup has been simmering for about 20 minutes, add any leftover veg and allow to warm through for 5-10 minutes.
  • Next, add the leftover meat and allow to warm through gently – don’t let the soup boil at this point because the meat will dry out.
  • Finally, add the macaroni and parsley, season to taste and serve topped with Parmesan.

Turkey stock


Bones and trimmings from a turkey (do not include the skin as this makes the stock cloudy and greasy).
2 stick of celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 carrots, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
Few sprigs and stalks of any fresh herbs that might be available or alternatively a pinch of dried, mixed herbs
Glass of white wine (optional)


  • Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan with 1.5ltr cold water and bring to the boil.
  • Turn down the heat then simmer for 1 – 1¼ hours, checking every now and then to remove any fat, scum or froth that starts to develop on the surface.
  • Finally, strain the stock and discard the vegetables and bones.
  • The stock is ready for use!