3 recipes using Christmas leftovers

Christmas can be a culinary minefield for the triathlete, especially with all the inevitable parties that continue until the year rolls into the next


Christmas can be a culinary minefield for the triathlete. Here, Lawrence Brackstone shows you how to use the leftovers from the 25th to good effect.

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So with a little effort required on your behalf, here are three great ways to enjoy the post-festive period, without ruining your plans for  the new year.

Roasted parsnip soup with cumin and coriander (serves 4)

A fantastic soup for the time of year; it’s hearty, low fat, full of taste and is so easy to make. While it’s preferable to use leftover roast parsnips from the Christmas meal, you can also use unroasted parsnips.

Preparation time is 5mins and cooking time 15mins. To make it, you’ll need a liquidiser or stick blender and a large saucepan.


  • 2tbsps rapeseed or olive oil
  • 6 parsnips, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1tsp whole coriander seeds
  • ½tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1.2 litres vegetable, turkey or chicken stock
  • A small handful of fresh, chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste


1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil for 30secs. Add the onion and salt and cook with a lid on, on a low heat for 3mins.

2. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and continue cooking for 2mins. Add the parsnips and cook for another 5mins.

3. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for approx 5mins.

4. While the soup is simmering (not boiling), make the spiced yoghurt. This is as simple as mixing the spices into the yoghurt. Add a little more
chilli if you prefer.

5. Check the parsnips are cooked by sliding a knife through one to test.

6. Liquidise the soup until smooth. For most standard-size liquidisers, this will mean two stages as the quantity won’t fit.

7. Pour into soup bowls, adding chopped coriander to the top and serving the yoghurt separately.

Root vegetable and broccoli crumble with goat’s cheese and oats (serves 2)

Most vegetable gratin recipes are drenched in cream and cheese, which not only smothers the taste but also makes them hugely calorific. This recipe uses a light mustard dressing instead of cream and goats cheese in a controlled amount.

You can also serve this dish as a starter, a side or a vegetarian main course. With regards the ingredients, feel free to add whichever veg you choose; celeriac and fennel work particularly well.

Preparation time is 10mins and cooking time is 15mins. To make it, you’ll simply need an ovenproof dish.


  • 1tbsp rapeseed/olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
  • Half a swede, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium turnip, cut into chunks
  • 6 small florets of broccoli
  • 2-3 dried apricots or
  • 1tbsp of sultanas
  • A handful of rolled oats
  • 40g of goats cheese, cut or torn into small chunks
  • Half a slice of brown bread
  • 1tsp dijon mustard 1tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 8-12 whole almonds
  • Black pepper to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. Mix the oil and mustard together in a bowl and season with black pepper.

2. If you’re not using leftovers, briefly cook the root veg in boiling water so that they retain a light crunch. About 2-3mins should do it. Cook the broccoli last and for less than 1min.

3. While warm, toss the vegetables, nuts and apricots in the oil and mustard to evenly dress them. Arrange in an ovenproof dish (this can be a large dish or individual as I’ve used).

4. Top with the oats, bread and goats cheese. Bake for approx 10-15mins until the topping is golden and the vegetables piping hot.

Turkey, vegetable and apple broth (serves 4)

This recipe provides an easy-to-prepare, easy-on-the-stomach solution to Christmas meat leftovers, which is low fat and high in veg. Its been designed to use cooked meats and some cooked veg but, if you don’t have them to hand, just adjust the cooking times and make from raw.

Preparation time is 10mins and cooking time is 15mins (plus 1hr stock cooking time if making your own stock). To make it you’ll need a large saucepan or casserole dish.


  • 1.2 litres of turkey or chicken stock (see separate recipe)
  • 300-350g cooked turkey or your roast meat, sliced
  • 2 rashers of back bacon, sliced
  • 2-3 boiled potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 10-12 sprouts, halved
  • 4 stems of purple sprouting broccoli, cut into three
  • 1 trimmed and washed leek, cut into small slices
  • 1 apple, cut into chunks
  • A sprig of thyme, optional
  • Some crusty bread

Method: the stock

1. Take the carcass from your roast meal and cover it with twice the amount of cold water.

2. Add a bay leaf and simmer it for approximately 1hr.

3. Strain it and discard the bones, saving the broth for further use. Chill or freeze immediately if not using straight away. It’ll keep for four days in the fridge.

Method: the broth

1. Bring the stock to a simmer and add any raw ingredients first, along with the thyme.

2. Simmer until the veg is cooked through. Now add the cooked meats and simmer for approximately 5mins until piping hot.

3. Only simmer the broth for as long as it takes to cook/heat the ingredients – overcooking will destroy many of the nutrients and dull the taste.

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4. Finally, add the apple and serve with hot, crusty bread.