Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup – A true comfort food, this warming and delicious homemade soup is a great, all-natural way to use up that wonderful leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is one of the first truly scrumptious things I made when my husband and I first got married. It was such a hit that it has become a family tradition for us to make it with our leftover Thanksgiving turkey every December. It is much anticipated by all, especially my Nana, for whom I always save a bowl.
I loaded my soup with carrots because there are beautiful, sweet carrots, available through our crop share at this time of year, plus they add a nutritional boost to the soup. I think it tastes similar to Panera Bread’s Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, but with less fat, sodium, and no artificial ingredients!
This recipe is best with bone broth. Now, you could buy it from the store, but the flavor just isn’t the same. I shamelessly cheat on this task, as, traditionally, it should simmer for 24 hours! I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t have that kind of time, and I’m not leaving my stove-top on while I’m sleeping. What I do is throw all of the bones from a leftover turkey into a large stockpot, fill it 2 inches from the top with water, and then simmer it for 2-3 hours (be sure not to boil or you will get cloudy broth), adding water as needed if the water level gets low. I then turn off the burner, let it come to room temperature, and plop it into the fridge with the lid on, bones still in, for 24-36 hours. When I’m ready to use the broth it’s gelatinous, so I heat it on the stove until it becomes liquid again and then strain the juices through a fine mesh colander, removing the bones. Viola! It’s ready to use!
- 12 C turkey bone broth (or store-bought if you’re a busy cook)
- 2 C water
- 2 C chopped turkey
- 2 C wild rice
- 1.5 C carrots cut into coins
- 1 C celery coarsely chopped
- 1 C sweet Vidalia onion coarsely chopped
- ¾ C flour (if cooking gluten free, use potato flour)
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh or dry parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- Place all of the bones from a leftover turkey into a large stockpot
- Fill with water up to 2 inches from the top, then simmer for 2-3 hours (be sure not to boil or you will get cloudy broth), adding water as needed if the water level gets low
- Turn off the burner and allow the pot to come to room temperature
- Place the entire pot in the refrigerator with the lid on, bones still in, for 24-36 hours. The broth will become gelatinous when it cools.
- When ready to use, heat the pot on the stove until the contents becomes liquid again
- Strain the juices through a fine mesh colander, removing the bones. The broth is now ready to use.
- Chop the celery and onions, then sauté at the bottom of a large stock pot with 3 Tbsp of butter for approximately 3 minutes on medium heat. Be sure not to overcook the vegetables, as they will add texture to the soup.
- Pour the flour into the pot and mix with the buttery vegetables. Stir frequently, for about 3 minutes, allowing the flour to have some time to cook.
- Begin adding the broth, 1 cup at a time for the first 4 cups. After adding each cup, stir frequently until well combined with the flour before adding the next cup
- Turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add the remainder of the broth and water, then bring it to a gentle boil.
- Add the rice and carrots to the pot. When the soup returns to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the carrots are fork-tender.
- Stir in the turkey, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, and then your soup is ready to serve.