Thanksgiving Leftover Soup

Having a brain injury changes how you go through your day, for me, how I process and organize my thoughts is different from before my TBI. It takes a lot more energy and effort to organize my thoughts, which is ok if I have time, I find I have to plan for longer now. I have made this recipe often, it still takes some effort before starting. Cooking presents challenges for me after my accident, following recipes or staying organized can put my head in overload. I have had to learn to break down my cooking process into stages, this allows me to take short breaks and regroup.

My recipes come from ingredients from my own refrigerator and cupboard.

Canadian Thanksgiving is in October. This year with COVID, having a large family function just was not practical. That did not stop us from having our feast. With our best efforts pulled together, we still managed to have leftovers. Because there was a hearty portion of Ham leftover, my first thought was Soup. We had picked up potatoes and carrots on sale at the grocery store, they were slightly larger bags than we normally have on hand, so we had lots of extra. Yep, Soup it is! Now, I am not sure if there are Soup building rules, if there are, they will be broken today.

Thanksgiving Leftover Soup

Today I am making a Thanksgiving Leftover Soup for the first time. I will be using Campbell’s Chicken Broth for the stock, Campbell’s provided a soup recipe on the back of the package that I am going to use as a guide of sorts. My injury makes it difficult to follow directions and the timing for combining the ingredients, that does not work for me. So, I decided that in the spirit of October, I am going to use the Witches Brew format and combine the ingredients as I prepare them. Cackles and Chants are optional.

Ham (4 cups chopped)
Potatoes (8 cups chopped)
Celery (5-6 sticks, 2.5 cups chopped)
Garlic (3-5 cloves minced or chopped)
Onion (1 large, 2 cups chopped)
Carrots (4 cups chopped)  Baked Beans (3 tins)
Pasta Rotini (3-4 cups) 
Ground Black Pepper, Dried Oregano (1/2 tsp) Chicken Broth (3 X 900ml box)

The Campbell’s recipe calls for one box of Broth, I am going to assume that this Soup is going to turn out to be on the yummy side, so I decided to triple the recipe. Since this is a Soup experiment, I will using the largest pot in the house. This will allow me the room to add ingredients and have a little fun without having to worry about space.

Step One
Pour the 3 boxes of Chicken Broth into the pot. I filled 2 boxes with water after and added them to the pot (The water not the boxes). This was the point when I started to season, adding Black Pepper to taste and 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano. I didn’t add Salt, there is salt in the Chicken Broth and the Cooked Ham may have some salt in it. I will have Salt on the table for those that want to add it later.


I started with 2 boxes of Chicken Broth and 2 Boxes of water and found the flavor to be watered down and thin., so a third box of Chicken Broth fixed that.

Step Two
I gave the Celery a quick rinse to remove any dirt, then cut the Celery into bite size pieces that will fit on a spoon. I then add the Celery to the Brew.

Celery 2.5 cups


I started putting in the ingredients that take the longest to cook or have the boldest flavors.

Step Three
I removed the outside layer of the Onion and cut the ends off, then I cut the Onion into bite size pieces, I tried to keep the pieces around half inch squares. Add the Onion to the Mixture. (Cackle)

White Onion
Onion 2 cups

Step Four
I peeled and cut the Carrots into bite size pieces, I tried to keep the pieces around half inch slices, but the larger pieces I cut into half moons. The Carrots are also added to the Soup.

Carrots 4 cups

Step Five
After peeling the Garlic I chopped the Garlic into small pieces. Now add the Garlic to the Soup mixture.

Garlic generous

Side Note

The Campbell’s recipe called for 1 glove of Garlic, that seemed wrong, and so I bumped it up a few. Remember, you are taking advise from someone with many years of never making a Soup.

Step Six
I peeled and cut the Potatoes into bite size pieces. Now add the Potatoes to the Cauldron . (Chant)

Potatoes 8 cups


Potatoes are not in the Campbell’s recipe so I had to determine how many Potatoes to use. The way I gauged the number is, by what the average amount of Baked Potatoes we consume at a meal. With the 5 adults I am feeding today, that is an average of 1.5 Baked Potatoes per person. So a total of 7ish Potatoes, (Weights and Measures should add this gauge to their list of official measurements) 🙂

Step Seven
I cleaned any fat and yucky stuff off the Ham, then cut the Ham into cubes, around half inch squares. Into the pot with the Ham.

Ham 4 cups


I planned to Brew the Soup for about an hour or until the Potatoes and Carrots started to soften, which turned out to be just before the boiling point.

Step Eight

I added Rotini pasta to the soup 30 minutes before serving. The Campbell’s recipe called for Egg Noodle, sorry Campbell’s, I choice Rotini. I wanted to use a pasta that I thought would hold it’s shape longer. I am still expecting an exceptional Soup and there may be leftovers.

Rotini 3-4 cups
Giant pot of Witches Brew

Important Information

The First Thanksgiving Leftover Soup was a success. Sorry Campbell’s but I was right about the Garlic and the Rotini. Personal note for next time, I used 3 cups of pasta, I should have used 4 cups. There was leftover Soup but maybe only enough for a lunch of Soup and a sandwich. Now I have my eye on both a Beef Soup and a Hamburger Soup. Stay tuned.

Thanksgiving Leftover Soup Delicious

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