Luxurious & Light Turkey Soup

It’s that time.

You’ve eaten all the best bits and now some tired husks of brown meat are languishing in your fridge destined for the bin.

You’re sick of holiday-rich flavors and you need to save up room for the glut of holiday cookies which will arrive any day now.

But languish no more!

Rescue that sad-sack dark meat. Put it to the purpose for which it was intended: long-cook melt-in-the-mouth flavor without the deadweight of fattier cuts and creatures.

Restore yourself with a soup just rich enough it’ll warm your cockles and with a bit of bite to stave off the seasonal soporia.

(Which, incidentally, is not because of tryptophan — turkey contains about the same amount of this amino acid as most meats.)

Right. Let’s simmer!

Luxurious & Light Turkey Soup


1/2 stick salted butter

1-2c roughly chopped leftover turkey (dark meat is a soup god)

1 small onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

2-3 tbsp flour

1 tbsp thyme

1/2 c brown rice

8c weak stock (more on this in a minute)

1 tsp lemon juice

a sploosh of heavy cream and several cranks of black pepper to taste


Melt the butter in a stock pot and lightly fry the diced onion and carrot. After a few minutes, stir in the flour. This coats the vegetables and thicken the stock later.  Fry a few minutes more, stirring less often than you would  normally. A lovely dark brown color and bitter edge will develop, offsetting the sweet veg.

Add the stock, turkey and thyme. I added water and then half as many stock cubes as I would for normal stock as we want this to be a gentle, unfussy background note. If you’re using ready-made  — or heavens be, fresh! — consider cutting it with water.

Bring the pot to a boil and add your rice. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or whenever the rice is cooked and the soup is thick enough it ever-so-lightly coats a spoon. Sprinkle in less salt and more pepper than you think is normal.

When it’s ready add the lemon juice, give it a big stir and then drizzle in the cream; its heft smooths out the pepper, lemon and burnt onion flavors. I did this by eye since I wanted to use as little possible and keep it light, but I’d guess more than couple of tablespoons and less than 1/4 cup.

Serve steamy, ideally with hearty sourdough bread or something else that plays with the sharp-rich flavor balance afoot.

Serves 4-6

One Response to “Luxurious & Light Turkey Soup”
  1. I wish I had made this soup instead of the same old turkey vegetable soup I always make. Next year, for sure 🙂


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