My college son got mono last weekend, so we had to cancel our plans to travel to spend Thanksgiving with family. By Wednesday, my husband was also sick with a bad respiratory virus. So, we had a very quiet Thanksgiving at home, with just my father-in-law as a guest. I cooked all the traditional foods, but the smallest turkey I could find was 11 pounds...for 5 of us!
We enjoyed the feast, as well as a dinner of left-overs on Friday, but by then my family was getting sick of the same old stuff, so I used our left-over turkey to make a nourishing soup for my sick family. I based it on the way my mother used to make homemade chicken noodle soup when I was a kid (I still have the basic instructions scribbled down in a strange short-hand in the back of an old recipe book!). Since we are eating a Paleo diet for medical reasons, I subbed wild rice (which is actually a grass, not a grain) for noodles, which turned out delicious. Here's the recipe...in case you were wondering what to do with all that left-over turkey!
Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
This is a great way to use left-over turkey after the holidays when you tire of basic left-overs!
Left-over turkey pieces and/or carcass, skin removed *
Tops of celery with leaves
1 small onion, cut into quarters
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons minced or crushed garlic
1 lb. carrots, sliced
32 oz. (2 cans or 1 carton) chicken broth **
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Remove skin from turkey pieces and put in a large stockpot. Add the celery tops and quartered onion to the pot. Add cold water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Drain contents of pot through a colander over a large bowl. Set broth aside and allow the meat in the colander to cool.
- When cool (it will be just right if you chop your veggies while waiting), sort through the meat in the colander. Discard bones, cartilage, and any other inedible pieces, as well as celery and onion. Chop the turkey meat.
- Sauté onion and celery in oil in stockpot over medium-high heat until soft. Add garlic toward end of sauté.
- Add homemade broth, canned broth **, carrots, chopped turkey, wild rice, and seasoning.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* The amount of turkey we had left-over included 2 wings, back, 1 leg, plus a few slices of white and dark meat. I removed the skin to reduce fat.
** Because I started with already-cooked turkey, my broth was a bit light on flavor, so I added the additional carton of store-bought chicken broth. If you start with uncooked turkey and cook the stock for a bit longer, then you probably won’t need the extra broth.
© Suzan L. Jackson 2014
(Do not reprint or publish without written permission from the author)