This Holiday Dinner Soup recipe brings together the classic flavors turkey and dressing for a filling and warm meal.

One of the earliest memories I have of Christmas, occurred on Christmas Eve when I was quite young. It happened at my Grandparents farm in Centralia, Oklahoma. My Grandpa stated that he thought he had heard something outside and could it possibly have been Santa? So, he, I, and a cousin of mine, put on our coats and went outside to investigate.

We looked on the roof first and spotted nothing. We then walked around the house, and nothing. So Grandpa suggested we walk down and check the barn, in case Santa was resting his reindeer? We went down and checked out the barn, then around the chicken house we went, and still were not able to locate anything. Grandpa then said we should just as well give up the hunt and head for the house. When we walked in the house, to our surprise, Santa had somehow slipped in and left our Christmas gifts under the tree without anyone seeing him. The only thing we could figure was he must have done it while we were looking inside the barn?

The Christmas holiday lends special meaning for all of us, as we think of the Christmases past and the people we shared those times with. We all have our favorite aspects associated to the holiday, from the Christmas shopping prior to the holiday, to Christmas parties, Christmas parades, viewing Christmas lights, and the list goes on. Then it all leads up to the one day celebration.

Like everything else, the holiday routine usually changes for most us as we go through life. As a youngster, my Christmas consisted of getting up early on Christmas morning to open our presents at home, then off to one, and most the time to a couple of my Grandparents homes for Christmas Day. As a young adult, my spouse, I, and the kids, would go to my mother’s home on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning at our house, and then to my in-laws for Christmas Day.

Since the passing of my wife, my holiday schedule has changed. We still do Christmas Eve at my mother’s, which all my kids and grandkids attend, but there is no longer a Christmas morning celebration in my home. In fact, I no longer even put up a Christmas tree, which is a huge change from years past when my house was almost impassable inside during the holiday from decorations. Not a very festive atmosphere in my home anymore, but it does have its perks. I am no longer required to get out and hang Christmas lights on the house each November when I had just taken them down a month earlier! There is also not the task of removing decorations from the tree and storing them for next year. But with all that said and done, the memories from past Christmases are PRICELESS.

My Christmas dinners over the years have always been the traditional turkey and dressing dinner, with homemade noodles, and the trimmings. But sometimes, we just don’t have the time, or the need to prepare a full holiday meal, for whatever the circumstance might be. I recently was in that situation but wanted the flavors of a holiday meal, so I did some experimentation and put together these flavors in a soup for what I call Holiday Dinner Soup.

I also made a skillet of cornbread to go with it, which I crumbled up in my bowl of soup. The “sage” flavoring in the soup mixed with the cornbread gave me the flavors of a turkey and dressing with all the trimmings dinner, in a soup or stew. I was very pleased with the final result, and think you will be too if you give it a try.

Holiday Dinner Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion, diced 1 to 2 celery stalks, diced 1 russet potato, peeled and diced 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced 1 teaspoon dried sage 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups chicken broth 2 packet McCormick’s turkey gravy mix 2 cups water 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1 cup frozen cut green beans 3 cups shredded leftover turkey meat 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, cook for 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes, sage, pepper, and chicken stock.

Pour 2 cups water with 2 packets turkey gravy mix and whisk together in a separate bowl, and then add the gravy mixture to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium.

Add the carrots, green beans, and simmer until the veggies are tender, about another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shredded turkey and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Add in the parsley and season with salt to taste. Adjust other seasonings to taste as well.

Serve with warm cornbread and butter.