Anyone out there still working on Thanksgiving leftovers? We did a pretty good job of keeping the haul to a minimum this year, so we only had full leftovers for a few days, but we are still working on the last of the turkey. There were only four of us at our dinner, and I roasted a 14-pound bird, which meant we had a decent chunk of leftover meat. A few days ago, we officially hit our collective turkey sandwich limit, and I decided it was time for the remainder of our delicious turkey to head into the soup pot.
In year’s past, most of my post-Thanksgiving soups have been of the turkey veggie variety, but this year, I was inspired by a bread bowl full of soup I had at Panera a few weeks back. It was a creamy chicken and rice concoction that was absolutely perfect for the gray, dreary, cold day. If I’m being quite honest, I walked in there wanting a bowl of their potato soup in a bread bowl (CARBSGOOD), but they were out of the potato soup, and I mourned, and then picked the cream of chicken and was happily surprised by the yumminess. I liked it so much I decided that turkey leftovers were destined for a copycat.
My version is a little heartier than Panera’s. I’m a fan of stew-like soups, so this is chock full of thick-cut veggies, big ole chunks of turkey and a heavy hand of wild and brown rice. It’s definitely one of those meals-in-a-bowl kind of soup (and absolutely does not need a bread bowl, although a chunk of crusty bread for sopping is always a good thing).
Since slow-roasted turkey isn’t a normal thing kicking around most folks’ fridges all year ’round, you can easily sub in cooked chicken breast and chicken broth in this recipe and still have a rockin’ good soup. Poultry is poultry, amirite?
The best things out soup like this? They just keep getting better and better as the flavors meld in the fridge. It’s awesome the day you make it, and even better when you heat it up for lunch the next day.
And I am so glad to have this soup to heat up for the next few days. Not only did I give our sad turkey leftovers new life, but it’s also the perfect thing to have for the winter storm we’re supposed to be getting tomorrow. I know a lot of folks dread snow (and I used to when I was commuting to work), but man, now that I don’t have to go anywhere, I get so pumped when it’s time for snow. Especially the big storms like they’re predicting for here tomorrow—I heard some forecasts predicting as much as 9-12 inches! Which is a big one for us in this area of the world. That much snow would be amazing, but I’d be happy with just a few inches. We have lots of firewood and a big batch of soup in the fridge, so, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Enjoy! And I hope you all get a snow day tomorrow.
Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Makes: 8 Servings | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, sliced into coins
- 3 large stalks of celery, sliced
- 2 cups cubed roasted turkey (white and dark meat)
- 8 cups turkey broth
- 1 cup wild rice (or a wild rice blend, which is what I usually use because wild rice is so darn expensive on its own)
- 2/3 cup half and half cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the carrots and celery and cook until the veggies soften, about 10 minutes.
- Add in the turkey and turkey broth. Bring to a boil, add in the rice, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in the half and half, salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.