The weather keeps fluctuating around here from unseasonably warm to bitter cold and then back again. It’s amazing that we haven’t all come down with lots of colds yet this winter and the weather really does seem to affect the way I want to cook. On a nice day you feel like having something like ribs or burgers or some chicken and then on the cold days we want soups and stews. Luckily, I try to cook larger meals with the intent that we will get many meals out of the leftovers. Such is the case when I made some turkey recently and then made stock with the leftover carcass and we used the leftover meat to make some nice turkey rice soup. The rice adds a nice heartiness to the dish and you can use all your leftovers or frozen vegetables to help flavor the soup and make the cooking even easier than ever.
Turkey Rice Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, sliced thin crosswise
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 pound cooked turkey meat, white and dark meat, chopped
6 cups turkey or chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced ¼ inch thick
1/2 cup white rice
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion leeks carrots and celery and cook until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey meat and heat the meat through until it is beginning to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the contents from the Dutch oven to a separate bowl and set it aside.
Wipe out the now-empty Dutch oven with paper towels and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the white rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the rice become translucent, about 2 minutes.Add the turkey mixture back to the Dutch oven and heat through for about 1 minute. Add the turkey or chicken broth and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low add the thyme and bay leaves and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in the frozen peas and cook until they are heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
You can just as easily do this with leftover chicken instead of turkey or even with a rotisserie chicken that you can pick up at the store to save you some effort. The great thing about using a rotisserie chicken is that you can then use that carcass to make your own stock and get the great flavor from that. It doesn’t even have to cook all day; you really only need to add some onion, celery and carrot with the carcass and a bay leaf and let it cook for about 30 minutes and you can have flavorful stock. Other leftover veggies will work in this soup as well if you want and I added some leftover green beans we had. Sauteing the rice briefly does make a difference here as it helps to keep the rice firm by firming the starches before you add the liquid so the rice will not bloat. it makes for a great quick dinner you can do any night of the week and get good flavor from your leftovers.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another new recipe. There’s still lots of good stuff to come, including a lamb recipe, a quick turkey breast recipe, baked ziti, a couple of different wings to try, skillet pizza and more. until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!