Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup Recipe

If there's one holiday tradition that almost all families can relate to — no matter exactly which holidays you celebrate nor how exactly you celebrate them, you've likely prepared way too much food and ended up with a mountain of leftovers. And you can only eat so many turkey sandwiches or re-heated serving of sweet potato casserole in the days after a big family gathering before you're over the whole leftover meal thing. So what's to be done? Surely not wasting perfectly good food, right?

Why, not at all — not when you can use your leftovers to create a new delicious dish. "This [soup] is a wonderful way to use up leftover turkey, especially after celebrating Thanksgiving," says chef and recipe developer Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished. It's also a deliciously easy soup to make. There are "not really any mistakes [to watch for] here. It's pretty straightforward," Shelbert says.

What's more is that this Thanksgiving leftover-inspired turkey soup can be a great complete meal in a bowl given that it has protein, carbs, and veggies, so you can bring a container of it along to work, serve it as a quick, cheap and easy family dinner, or enjoy a filling lunch with minimal effort and with maximum satisfaction.

Gather the ingredients for creamy turkey wild rice soup

By and large, this soup consists of ingredients you will likely have on hand in a surplus after a traditional American holiday meal, along with a few other common ingredients. All in, you'll need a cup of a wild rice blend, some extra virgin olive oil, a small sweet onion, diced, chopped carrots and celery stalks minced garlic, some sprigs of thyme, some bay leaves, chicken broth, flour about two cups leftover turkey, cubed, and some half and half, but note that you can substitute milk or cream for that.

Also, feel free to add more veggies, of course. "Greens stirred in at the end would be fabulous," says Shelbert, adding: "Kale or spinach would work well."

Cook the rice, then start cooking the veggies

Start off by cooking the wild rice on the stovetop according to package directions. You can start this a little before working on the rest of the recipe, doing much of the soup prep simultaneously with the rice cooking, or you can cook the rice well ahead of time. And you can, of course, use leftover rice if you have it.

To start working on the soup, heat the olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Now add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the vegetables have just softened. Then add the garlic and cook one minute more.

Add broth and turkey, and thicken the soup

Add the thyme, bay leaves, and the chicken broth and stir everything to combine them well. Now bring the broth to a simmer and then add in the turkey, stirring it to combine into the soup.

Next, while letting the soup pot simmer, ladle about a quarter of a cup of the broth into a bowl or measuring cup and add the flour. Whisk the broth and flour mixture until there are no clumps, and then add the mixture back into the soup, stir to combine everything evenly, and then continue to let the soup simmer for eight minutes to allow it to slightly thicken and all the flavors to blend.

Add in the rice and cream, and then enjoy

When those eight minutes of simmering have passed, stir the soup well a few times, then add the rice and the half and half (or cream or milk) into the soup pot and stir well again. Now heat the soup at a simmer for another five minutes.

Next, remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves and then ladle out servings of the soup while it's fresh and hot, or prep your soup for storage by letting it cool. Shelbert says it is best eaten within four days if you're storing servings in the fridge, but will last a good four months if stored frozen in the freezer.

Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup Recipe
4.9 from 22 ratings
This soup is a wonderful way to use up leftover turkey, especially after celebrating Thanksgiving, plus it's a complete meal with protein, carbs, and veggies.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
5
Servings
Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup in bowls
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup wild rice blend
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, cubed
  • ½ cup half and half (note: can substitute milk or cream)
Directions
  1. Cook rice on the stovetop according to package directions.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until just softened.
  4. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add the thyme, bay leaves, and chicken broth.
  6. Bring to a simmer and add in the turkey.
  7. Ladle about ¼ cup of the broth into a bowl or measuring cup and add the flour, whisking until there are no clumps.
  8. Add the mixture back into the soup and simmer for 8 minutes to allow to slightly thicken.
  9. Add the rice and the half and half, then heat for another 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves, then serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 398
Total Fat 14.8 g
Saturated Fat 4.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 56.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 9.4 g
Sodium 446.0 mg
Protein 24.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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