A couple of weekends ago, we celebrated Christmas at my mom’s house, and I cooked an amazing maple-glazed herb turkey whose leftovers I got to bring home. Since we were traveling out of town the next day, I froze them and decided upon our return that I’d turn the meat into a soup. The usual suspects–turkey rice and turkey noodle, were considered as dinner contenders, but neither sounded terribly palatable. I decided on a cream of turkey and wild rice soup, as I’d eaten plenty of cream of chicken and wild rice soups that I’d enjoyed and thought perhaps with the addition of turkey, a good soup would be born. I also decided to lighten this version up a bit, as most versions of cream-based soup have loads and loads of just that–cream. Not that cream is bad, mind you, but I didn’t want a soup that would leave a heavy film in my mouth after I ate it. And I wasn’t looking for a soup with a bisque-y consistency.
This version is lighter, flavorful and quite filling.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (you could also add onion, but I avoid it due to food allergy issues)
- 2 1/2 cups cooked skinless turkey meat, diced into bite-sized pieces (I had a mixture of light and dark meat)
- 4 cups Kitchen Basics chicken stock (or whatever chicken stock you have on hand)
- 1 cup dry white rice, medium or long-grain
- 1/2 cup dry wild rice
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (it’s got more of a punch than black pepper, and it doesn’t show in a cream-based soup!)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- granulated garlic (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
In a stockpot (I used a 6 quart size), heat the olive oil. Once it is hot, saute the carrots, celery and garlic for about 7-8 minutes. Add the stock, turkey meat and wild rice along with half of the pepper and thyme. Cover and simmer, stirring a couple of times to make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot, for about 45 minutes.
After the wild rice has cooked, add the white rice and a cup of water. You’re adding water since some of the liquid will have evaporated in the cooking of the wild rice. Let this cook for about 20 minutes so that the white rice has the chance to cook. Be sure to stir periodically so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
During the last 5 minutes of the white rice cooking period, make a slurry of the flour and a bit of water. Using a fork, stir about a half cup of water into the flour in a bowl, stirring until smooth. You don’t want any lumps. Add the half and half to make a thick, creamy mixture that you are going to stir into the soup as the rice finishes cooking.
Stir the flour-half and half slurry into the soup, taking care to evenly distribute it throughout the pot. Add the milk to the pot and the remaining spices, and allow the soup to bubble. Serve hot, with a crusty bread, or in a bread bowl. One serving is about a cup and a half of soup. This recipe fed two hungry eaters, with lots of leftovers for the next few days.