By Case Fischer
Thanksgiving – the one day a year that we really feel free to indulge in a big meal of traditional family favorites. How many times have we all sat around the table and eaten just one more helping when we already feel full? We stay at the table longer, enjoy each other’s company and hopefully get a nap in. Even though we all may eat more than usual, we usually have lots of leftovers, and with many of us having smaller gatherings this year we may have more leftovers than ever. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to scale down a meal that you are used to cooking the same way time and time again. We could go out on a limb and change the menu, and some of you may wish to do that, but I know everyone at our house will want all of their favorite dishes – we need a little normalcy on this particular holiday while we are dealing with everything else being so different.
Every year there is always the discussion of what to do with the leftovers – does anyone have any new ideas on how to use them? There is always the ever-popular turkey sandwich layered with stuffing and cranberry sauce for the days that follow, and some people make Turkey Tetrazzini or Turkey Pot Pie. Others just eat the same Thanksgiving meal over and over again until it’s all gone. Well I have what I consider to be a real “comfort food” recipe to share with you as a suggestion for your leftover turkey this year – Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup. Not only will you be using your turkey leftovers, but you will be pairing them with wild rice which is higher in protein and fiber and lower in fat than white rice, so technically it’s probably considered dietetic, and we all know we need that after our big Thanksgiving meal.
You can make this soup immediately, a few days later or even a few months later if the turkey is stored safely. Slice the meat from the turkey and tightly wrap it in foil or place it in an airtight sealed container. It can be stored safely in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for 2-3 months. However you go about storing your turkey, the best part about this soup is that it won’t take you nearly as long as making your Thanksgiving feast. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
3 tbsp neutral oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ cup carrots, diced¼ cup celery, diced,
4 oz mushrooms, diced
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 cups turkey stock (chicken/veggie stock can substitute)
1 cup heavy cream (optional, for creamy-based soup)
½ cup wild rice
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
3 cups shredded turkey
1. In a large pot over medium heat, pour oil, onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onions start to slightly brown and soften. Season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and thyme.
2. Add butter and mix until fully melted. Once butter has completely melted, add flour and cook until flour thickens and starts to brown (1-2 minutes). Slowly add in turkey broth one cup at a time and turn heat up to medium-high; bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat back down to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add wild rice and let simmer for 30-35 minutes.
3. Add heavy cream and turkey and cook for 15 minutes more. Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.