Mission: Thanksgiving Day Leftovers- Turkey Soup with Wild Rice, Rosemary and Mushrooms

Yields: 5 quarts Time: 2.5-3 hours Difficulty Level: Easy

I am an original soup Nazi. Soups were my first dish I attempted to make from scratch at the delicate age of maybe…12? Weird, I know. I am obsessed with making soup. I stalk left over, meaty bones like a starving stray dog. I feel like I have pretty much perfected my method. Hold on now…my head is about to explode. But don’t blame me, that comes from my co-workers, family and friends. Most of my soup recipes yield a ton so I started sharing. From Bean and Ham soup to Ox Tails with Red Lentils to good ol’ fashion Chicken Noodle. I receive repeated requests for my soups on a weekly basis. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to eat a big bowl of warm comfort? That’s the only thing I can compare it to. It will make all your troubles disappear for about 15 minutes. Unless you have a second bowl… then you’re guaranteed 20-25 minutes of a completely care-free world full of peace and harmony.

What you’ll need:
-1 turkey carcass and 2 turkey thighs with the bone
-3 carrots
-3 celery stalks
-1 medium onion
-5 cloves of garlic
-1 bouquet garni (a bundle of fresh herbs, I used Thyme, Sage, and Rosemary)
-2 fresh or dried Bay leaf
-20 cups of water
-2 cups of any mushroom you like
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-2 cups of wild rice
-2 Tbsp of fresh Rosemary
salt, pepper and turkey or chicken bouillon

It seems like a lot of work to make home-made soups but it’s fairly easy. I promise you. Once you’ve made your own soup, you will NEVER eat canned soup again. You will be able to detect the canned condensed yuck with distaste from a mile away. We’re first going to get your mirepoix together, also known as your aromatics. This is your carrot, celery, onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Any successful soups begins with a great mirepoix.

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Isn’t that a gorgeous sight? One staple that you will ALWAYS find in my fridge are carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Get all the veggies chopped up how ever way you want to eat them. Big chunks, little chunks it doesn’t matter. You can use kitchen cooking string or butcher twine to bundle your herbs. I use hemp string because it works and I have ton of it.

These are what your turkey bones should look like. Trust me, they look bare but there is still a ton of meat on those babies. It’s okay if there is a little leftover stuffing in the cavity also. That’s just added flavor. Because of the long cooking time the stuffing itself should cook away, but be prepared to strain it if there are still a few chunks left. No big deal though.

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Pull out your BIGGEST stock pot! The bigger the better! On medium heat, add a couple Tbsps of olive oil. Throw in your mirepoix. That’s French by the way. Say it with your best French accent and you will definitely sound like you know what you’re talking about. Saute the veggies until the onions are translucent (a little see through). Don’t forget salt and pepper!

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Toss in the bouquet garni, turkey carcass and thighs WITH THE MEAT.

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Now pour about 20 cups of water into the stock pot or until the biggest bone is just barely covered. Don’t forget the bay leaf!

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Turning it to a medium-low heat, put the lid on and forget about it for about an hour and a half. During this time you can prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop up your red pepper and mushrooms. This time I used a mix of shiitake, baby bella, white and portabella. Coarsely chop your rosemary and measure out your wild rice. If you are using rice that is already cooked, add to the soup right before serving. If not, add it along with the peppers and mushrooms.

After what seems like forever, this is what it should look like.

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What a beaut! Turn the heat to low or simmer. Remove all the bones. Be very careful, they will break apart and trust me, there will be little pieces of bone hiding in there. Set the bone aside to cool. Remove the bouquet garni as well. This is when most people strain their stock. They actually throw away all that goodness. Can you believe that? How insane. The reason for this is to have a nice, pleasing to the eye, stock. You would then add all fresh veggies to the stock and go from there. Yes, I used to do that. But now I cannot fathom the idea of throwing away perfectly good food. If you want your carrots and celery to have a firmer bite, then by all means add some more. But please DO NOT remove and throw away what’s already in there. There are starving people in China for God’s sake! PRETTY-SHMETTY!

Calm down, you’re almost finished. I know, it’s been hours upon hour having to endure the delectable aroma. And you’re hungry. Throw the peppers, mushrooms, rosemary and rice (if uncooked) in the pot and simmer for 30 more minutes. Hey, you can’t rush fine art! If you haven’t been tasting this all along, then do it now. Needs salt, a lot of salt. I already know. Turkey is mild in flavor. It’s very delicate. Not like chicken. There’s no getting around that. I have a confession. My name is Ashley and I use bouillon. I use bouillon all the time, in tons of stuff. I have no shame. That’s what it’s there for! And yes, it is still classified as home-made! It will add depth and richness to your stock. So add the bouillon accordingly. You may only need a little. You may need a lot. For this recipe, I was able to skip the bouillon and add my leftover turkey gravy. It did the trick quite nicely I might add. It was just about a cup or so. It gave the stock some flavor and body. Sounds sexy huh?!

Last but not least add the turkey meat. Oh? Did I skip that step? Opps! Um yea, go ahead and pull all the turkey meat from the COOLED bones.

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Throw in your already cooked rice.

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Holy shit Batman! You’ve just made the most delectable Turkey Soup with Rosemary and Mushrooms you have ever tasted in your entire life. Campbells ain’t got nothin’ on you now!

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Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to share! This soup also freezes well.

*Use this same method with any bone and meat you want. To add more color to beef stocks, brown the bone along with the mirepoix and add what ever veggies you love!

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2 thoughts on “Mission: Thanksgiving Day Leftovers- Turkey Soup with Wild Rice, Rosemary and Mushrooms

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