Whether you have leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas, or if you found a good deal at the grocery store, when you have turkey you tend to have it in abundance. Using up turkey can be a bit of a struggle, but one of my favorite things to do with leftover turkey is to make a Classic Turkey and Rice Soup.
Turkey is shredded and simmered with a medley of vegetables in a savory broth. White rice makes the soup a hearty meal. This is a perfect way to utilize leftovers.
Leftover Turkey vs Fresh
Using leftover turkey is the ideal for this recipe. Not only will it save you time in making this soup, it also is a way to clean out the fridge and not let food go to waste.
If you use leftover turkey for this Turkey and Rice Soup, you will need to remove the turkey from the carcass and cut into bite sized pieces.
If using fresh turkey (cooking from scratch for this recipe), but turkey breasts only. Season with salt and pepper, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Slice up the meat into bite sized pieces, then you're good to go!
What ingredients are in Turkey and Rice Soup
- Carrot: Sliced into thin rounds
- Onion: Chopped into small dices
- Celery: Chopped into small dices
- Turkey: Using cooked turkey, shredded into bite sized chunks
- Garlic: Minced
- Poblano Pepper: Diced, include some of the seeds for added heat
- Thyme: Use fresh for best flavor, but dried is ok too!
- Rice: I used white rice, but other varieties such as brown or wild rice work well. Anticipate a longer cooking time if using wild or brown rice.
Common substitutions for Turkey and Rice Soup
- Use chicken instead of turkey
- Use wild rice or brown rice instead of white rice (though you may need to adjust for a longer cook time for the rice)
- Add spinach or kale for more veggie options
- Omit the Poblano pepper if too spicy (though it's rather mild)
- Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
- Add potatoes, celery root or turnips to make heartier
How to store soup
This soup can be stored in the fridge covered for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen into individual portions (either in Tupperware or ziplock bags) and keep for 2-3 months). Because this soup is broth based, it will reheat well and not separate like some cream based soups.
To reheat soup, either microwave or warm on the stovetop until hot. From frozen, defrost soup in the microwave until desired temperature. If heating from frozen on the stovetop, heat at a low temp and allow for soup to melt before bringing to a simmer to avoid scorching.
- Dutch Oven or similar
- Wooden Spoon
- Chef's Knife
- Cutting Board
Turkey and Rice Soup
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Carrots Chopped
- 1 Onion Diced
- 2 Stalks Celery Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Poblano Pepper Chopped
- 3 Cups Turkey Cooked, sliced into bite sized pieces
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 2 Tsp Ground Thyme
- 1 Cup Rice Dry
- In a large dutch oven add olive oil, carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add in poblano and turkey. stir to fully combine.
- Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Add rice and cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve warm and enjoy!