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Turkey and Rice Soup

Updated on November 20, 2017
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Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over twenty years and has cooked on multiple television stations, including Food Network.

Turkey and Rice Soup

Turkey and Rice Soup - we love Thanksgiving leftovers, and this luscious homemade turkey and rice soup is one of the best parts of the holidays!
Turkey and Rice Soup - we love Thanksgiving leftovers, and this luscious homemade turkey and rice soup is one of the best parts of the holidays!

Turkey Soup with Rice

My biggest boy is a turkey and rice fanatic. The boy loves turkey - all parts of it. The crispy skin, a big old drumstick, thin slices of white meat - any of it. He loves turkey and rice the most. When he has a bad day, or when it's time to clean the gutters (bribery is underrated) I do my best to make sure there's a bowl of turkey and rice soup at the end of the day.

Turkey soup is a favorite after Thanksgiving and Christmas of course. It's probably the most popular way to use up leftover turkey. It's easy, it's delicious, and it ensures you maximize every penny from that delectable bird. While most people seem to balk at making stock on a regular basis, for some reason throwing the turkey carcass in a pot and simmering it down is almost as much a tradition as the holiday meal itself. When October rolls around and turkey become plentiful and cheap, I buy as many as my freezer will hold, and dole them out year round. So I almost always have the makings of this turkey soup with rice. Which means my big boy is subject to a lot of bribery.

Turkey and Rice Soup

  • 1 leftover turkey carcass, stripped of meat (meat reserved and cubed)
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Turkey and Rice Soup

  1. Place turkey bones in a stock pot or Dutch oven, and add just enough water to cover. If needed, break the carcass apart to fit the kettle - you also don't want it in so large a pot that there's too much water. Otherwise the stock will be weak. 4-6 quarts is ideal although a bit more or less won't really matter.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to barely simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour, although 2-3 hours is even better. Skim any froth and fat from the top of the broth occasionally.
  3. Drain broth, discarding carcass. If you wish a clearer broth, strain through a triple layer of cheesecloth. Skim any remaining fat from the top of the broth.
  4. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and the onions are becoming translucent. Reduce heat, and whixk in flour until fully blended and no lumps remain. Slowly whick in about four cups of broth, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened.
  5. Add rice and remaining broth. Salt and pepper to taste, cover and allow soup to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in half and half and the cubed turkey.

Simple Ingredients - Onion, Celery, Carrot and Garlic

Dice onion, celery, carrot and garlic for the base of this simple homemade soup. The veggies saute for just a few minutes, making this soup pretty quick!
Dice onion, celery, carrot and garlic for the base of this simple homemade soup. The veggies saute for just a few minutes, making this soup pretty quick!

Saute the Veggies Before Adding Broth

To really develop the full flavors, saute the vegetables for about ten minutes in a little olive oil before adding the turkey broth.
To really develop the full flavors, saute the vegetables for about ten minutes in a little olive oil before adding the turkey broth.

Turkey Broth is Best

Homemade turkey broth is the best for flavor, but in a pinch, you can use chicken broth.  I use chicken broth all the time - so don't worry about it. Judgement free zone here!
Homemade turkey broth is the best for flavor, but in a pinch, you can use chicken broth. I use chicken broth all the time - so don't worry about it. Judgement free zone here!

Stir In Uncooked Rice and Fresh Thyme

Stir in a cup of uncooked white rice, and toss in a few sprigs of fresh thyme. All it needs now is about 20 minutes to simmer, allowing the rice to cook until tender and the flavors come together.
Stir in a cup of uncooked white rice, and toss in a few sprigs of fresh thyme. All it needs now is about 20 minutes to simmer, allowing the rice to cook until tender and the flavors come together.

Two Cups Leftover Turkey, Cut into Cubes

I like to cut the turkey  into small pieces - think of getting a spoonful with a little of each ingredient. I go for about half-inch cubes, and love the results.
I like to cut the turkey into small pieces - think of getting a spoonful with a little of each ingredient. I go for about half-inch cubes, and love the results.

Beautiful, Homemade Turkey and Rice Soup

Garnish with fresh parsley if you'd like - this turkey and rice soup is just plain gorgeous. The flavor is rich and satisfying - all the best of one of our favorite comfort foods!
Garnish with fresh parsley if you'd like - this turkey and rice soup is just plain gorgeous. The flavor is rich and satisfying - all the best of one of our favorite comfort foods!

Check out the Quick Tutorial!

How to Make Your Own Turkey Broth

© 2011 Jan Charles

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