I know, I know, we are a week and a half past Turkey Day. I am sure though, that many of you, like myself, still have SOMETHING left over from Thanksgiving. I know that most of you are probably tired of turkey and stuffing, but here is a delicious and unique way to use leftover turkey and maybe just perhaps the stock you decided to make from the carcass, drippings and gizzards. When all was said and done, I’m pretty sure we had a gallon of turkey stock leftover. There was only one thing left to do, make soup, so we transported this hearty stock from Pennsylvania back to Colorado and made a delicious, creamy turkey stock soup.
Turkey is a fine replacement for chicken. This soup can also be made with chicken stock and chicken breast. Because we had made this soup when we got back to Colorado, we obviously didn’t have any turkey breast leftover. We sent that stuff home with my mom, dad and sister. We did however have enough turkey stock leftover to feed a family of 500, thanks to my dad who so kindly made the stock while we were freezing our butts off at the Penn State vs. Wisconsin game. Go PSU! In lieu of using leftover turkey breast, we used boneless, skinless chicken breast. My dad made the same exact soup with the leftover turkey breast. You will have to ask him how his turned out =). I’m pretty sure we got similar results though!
This soup is hearty and perfect for a cold day. We decided to make it more on the creamy side and decided to double the amount of heavy cream and half and half in defiance to my original recipe. If you would like to make this soup more on the “brothy” side (Yes, “brothy” is a word. I just added it to my personal dictionary…in my brain). I still suggest adding a touch of heavy cream, but you could reduce the amount by almost half and still get a great result.
We stocked up on the veggies for this soup also. Zach has a bit of a head cold, and I thought the more veggies the better! Carrots, celery and onion are the top three veggies in this dish, but I’m sure you could have come to that conclusion all by yourself since those are mainly the top three veggies in most chicken soup. Herbs included parsley, oregano, thyme and of course you need those bay leaves! Just remember to take them out so you don’t choke to death, literally.
And that’s Cilantro, if you didn’t already know. He’s bad, but we love him. Ok, back to work. This soup doesn’t need much seasoning. The stock already has a ton of salt in it, but I think freshly ground black pepper really enhances the flavors of this dish. I’m not a big salt and pepper on prepared meals type of person, but top each serving off with a 1/8 teaspoon or so of pepper. It makes a world of difference!
Another variation of this soup is using orzo or ditalini instead of the rice. I haven’t tried this yet, but the wild rice can get very dense. I don’t mind it. I love a denser soup, but it does soak up a lot of the liquid. If you were going to substitute in a pasta, I would suggest adding a parsnip or turnip or two. It would add a nice starch factor to the soup, that it would most likely need.
- 12 cups turkey stock (or chicken)
- 6 ounces wild rice (or 1-2 cups orzo or ditalini)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1 large spanish onion, diced
- 5 large carrots, diced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 2 cubes chicken soup base
- 16 ounces chicken breast or turkey breast, cooked and diced (I baked the chicken)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- shredded parmesan for garnish
- In a crock pot, set to high add 10 cups of the turkey stock and wild rice.
- Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, onion, carrots, and celery. Let cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the veggie mixture to the crock pot, and add the oregano, thyme, bay leaves, a dash of salt and pepper, and the chicken soup base. Turn the crock pot down to low heat and let cook for 6-8 hours (I think cooking on low produces the best results. If you are in a hurry, cook on high for 3-4 hours).
- After you have reached the last 30 minutes of your time allotment, add the chicken breast (or turkey breast) and the parsley.
- In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream with the butter and the last 2 cups of turkey stock (or chicken stock) over low heat. Once the butter has melted, and the mixture has thickened (about 10 minutes), add to the crock pot.
- Let heat for about 20 more minutes until everything is heated through and serve with shredded parmesan, a dash of cracked black pepper and parsley!
Hardware - Crock Pot * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Scrap Bowl * Saute Pan * Wooden Spoons * Small Saucepan * Cheese Grater * Whisk