Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

Story by Holly
Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice
Tap any image to pin it.

We’ve discovered the ultimate way to put those Thanksgiving leftovers to use with this Turkey Soup Recipe. It’s made with wild rice, lot of veggies, and plenty of delicious turkey, of course.  

I’m just going to begin this post by recommending that you take this Turkey Soup Recipe and add it to your holiday recipe arsonal. Of course there is always lots of focus on the Thanksgiving feast, but what do you do with all of that leftover meat?

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

I know that every year I find myself looking for ways to incorporate leftover turkey into my weekly meal plan once the holiday has passed, things have quieted down, and mashed potatoes and gravy have become tiresome. This simple and flavor-packed turkey and wild rice soup solves that question for me and I cannot wait to share it with you today. 

Repurposing leftovers is a great way to take part in Kroger’s  Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative. If you weren't already aware, more than 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is uneaten, yet 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. Food waste undermines food security. So Kroger has committed to eliminating waste in their company completely by 2020 and ending hunger in the communities they serve by 2025.

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

This leftover Turkey Soup (made with wild rice and veggies) is, without a doubt, the ultimate comfort dish. But, what I really like about it is that it’s light enough to feel like it's part of a healthy dinner after a few days (or weeks?) of indulgent eating. I know you know what I’m talking about. The last thing I want after a holiday is more heavy food, but I also don’t want to be wasteful with what is left in my fridge. My budget and my conscience simply won’t allow that, so this soup is a godsend.

HOW DO YOU MAKE TURKEY SOUP?

This turkey soup recipe is so easy and comes together in a flash, making it just the kind of recipe you’ll want to have on hand after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It is guaranteed to put your fridge full of leftover turkey to good use.

Here’s how to make this soup in just a few easy steps:

  • Head to your local store to pick-up ingredients. Our market of choice is our local Fred Meyer store, which makes shopping for our meals such a breeze.
  • Cook the onions and celery in the olive oil until tender. 
  • Add the broth, seasoning, and rice and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is tender. 
  • Add the turkey and kale and simmer for 5 more minutes until the turkey is warm. 
  • You just made yourself a 30 minute dinner, enjoy!

DO I HAVE TO USE LEFTOVER TURKEY FOR THIS SOUP?

Can I let you in on a little secret? It doesn't have to be November to enjoy cooking with turkey! Most supermarkets (like our Fred Meyer stores) carry turkey in the freezer section ALL year long, making this turkey soup recipe a great weeknight dinner option any time you’d like. 

Here is a little tip: before my local Fred Meyer store stops selling turkeys at Thanksgiving time I buy myself just one more of those beautiful birds and am usually able to get a great deal on it. I save it for a few weeks before cooking it up for dinner (so we are all in the mood for turkey again) and feed my whole family (plus dinner guests) a toned down version of the classic Thanksgiving meal all over again. Then, I use the leftovers (once again!) to create stunning dishes like this Leftover Turkey Soup recipe! 

TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT EASY TURKEY SOUP:

Be sure to watch our video for a quick tutorial on how to cook up this cozy soup. The tips I have for making this soup are simple-

  • Make sure you cook the onions down enough. The idea here isn't to caramelize them, but to get them completely translucent before adding them to the broth. This will ensure that there isn’t a sharp onion taste to the broth. 
  • If you can’t find wild rice, feel free to use white or brown long grain varieties. I personally love wild rice in this soup, but the recipe will be great either way.

Reminder: Wild rice still has a “toothsome” bite to it when it is fully cooked. It doesn’t turn into mush like other rice varieties which makes it a wonderful choice for this Turkey Soup Recipe. 

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR TURKEY SOUP?

This turkey soup recipe makes for a wonderful lunch served in a mug all on it’s own. It can also be a hearty dinner served with a piece of good bread or this Cornbread with Creamed Corn and Jalapeño Infused Honey on the side.    

If you’d like to turn this humble bowl of Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice into a bountiful dinner for guests, why not add a salad? Both this Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Maple Dressing and this Celery Pear and Hazelnut Salad would make festive additions to a thoroughly autumn dinner. 

WHAT ELSE CAN I MAKE WITH LEFTOVER TURKEY?

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

If you make this Leftover Turkey Soup Recipe we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

Leftover Turkey Soup with Wild Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, minced about 2 small
2 cups celery, chopped
3 large carrots, 1/2 inch sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
tsp dried basil
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 1/2 cups wild rice
2-3 cups kale, ribs removed, chopped
2 cups turkey, cooked, shredded
1 lemon, juiced
flat leaf parsley, minced optional
parmesan cheese, optional

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery and carrots, sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, basil, poultry seasoning to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add shredded turkey, Kale and lemon juice. Simmer just long enough for turkey to heat through and kale to wilt.