One of south Louisiana’s most popular post-Thanksgiving traditions is to toss the turkey carcass into a pot to make turkey bone gumbo. Simmered with onions, celery, bay leaves, salt and pepper and other ingredients, the carcass produces a full-flavored stock in no time that’s the perfect gumbo base. Add it to a roux and toss in the Holy Trinity, sausage and reserved cooked turkey, and presto—you’ve got gumbo with an extra layer of flavor and richness.
But while we all love gumbo, the holiday soup pot doesn’t have to stop there. Freshly made turkey stock is a delicious base for infinite soups, including this one with turkey and wild rice. Studded with leftover cooked turkey, sliced carrots, nutty wild rice and fresh herbs, this soup is cozy and comforting. Add milk, half-and-half or heavy cream if you prefer it creamy, or keep it broth-based for something lighter and healthier. Either way, it’s a tidy little package of seasonal goodness.
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, leaves included, chopped
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin circles
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
6-8 cups turkey stock
2-3 cups cooked wild rice
2-3 cups cooked turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil to medium high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and sauté for about 7 minutes or until the carrots start to soften. Add the garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, turkey stock, wild rice and turkey. Bring to a slight boil, and lower the heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the veggies are soft and flavors are combined. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs before serving.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.