They don’t call me the “soup diva” for no reason! And this creamy, velvety-smooth, rich and delicious, Cream of Turkey, Wild Rice & Spinach Soup is one of our favorite ways to use leftover roast turkey!
You can, of course, use this recipe to put leftover roasted (or rotisserie) chicken to great use if you prefer a milder flavor, too. Either way, you’re going to end up with a pot of soup that’s bowl-lickin’ good!!
Back when I used to cater, and also had a small side business at home (on top of everything else), amongst other items, I used to sell my soups by the quart!!
I even had requests for the whole POT. And this was just one of many of my customer’s favorites!
VERY hearty, and truly, the soup that eats like a meal!!! You don’t even need a single thing with this, other than a nice hunk of bread for sopping if you’d like!
Or you can just lick the bowl…I won’t tell. But bread works better and doesn’t land you on a youtube comedy video…
This soup is RICH. It’s THICK. And a welcome, and earned treat!!!
It will stick to your ribs like a full meal after coming in from shoveling snow, and falling one too many times on the driveway that has now become an ice skating rink.
It’s chock FULL of not only protein-laden turkey (or chicken), but it’s also loaded with vitamins and minerals from a basketful of wonderful veggies, too!!
It has the same base beginnings of most soups, including the usual group of friends like onions, carrots and celery….all sautéed together in a bit of real butter…
…which is actually one of the most important bases for soups there is! It’s called a mirepoix, and it’s basically just 2 parts onions, to one part carrots and one part celery.
Easy to remember!
And it provides the base of flavor for SO many soups and dishes!
But you can add less of one and more of another according to what you like. I stick to the basic formula mostly. But I do, especially for soups, like a bit more carrots!
My hubby does, too! So to keep the peace, and not have any fussing and fighting over “who got more carrots”, I like to add quite a bit more.
The other healthy veggie in this, is of course the spinach. I do opt to just use frozen chopped spinach…because…let’s face it…I would need a TRUCKLOAD of fresh spinach to equal what’s already done for me.
Spinach shrinks like CRAZY when you cook it. So unless you own a spinach farm, it’s totally ok to just use what’s available year round in your grocery store, and already cooked down for you.
Just thaw it, and squeeze it dry before adding it to the party.
I just do this by hand. It’s quick and easy, and not only convenient, but makes the most sense.
The silky richness comes from several things. The roux that’s made from the sautéed veggies, along with homemade turkey bone broth*, heavy cream, and a little bit of cream cheese.
*You can substitute purchased turkey or chicken broth no problem.
I also season the whole pot nicely with herbs that play well together, long grain and wild rice that I prefer to cook separately in a saucepan, (*so that it’s cooked properly and doesn’t turn to a goopy, gooey mess), and a bit of extra flavor from asiago cheese!
It’s a strong cheese that works beautifully in soups, because it lends a punch of extra flavor with just a minute amount! And since you don’t have to add a ton of it, it makes it economical as well.
A little goes a long way. It adds a really nice flavor, without it being overpowering.
Who doesn’t appreciate THAT right now, right?
So, with the holidays right around the corner, and the weather blustery-cold in most of the country, I thought you all might appreciate a way to use any leftover turkey stash from Thanksgiving before it goes bad, and serve this pot of heart-warming soup to your family before Christmas!
Don’t let that turkey stash get freezer burned and go bad. That would be shameful. And we still have to eat before the next holiday anyways, right?
So, whip up this Cream of Turkey, Wild Rice & Spinach Soup to zap the colds, flu and chills away tonight! Nothing like a big ole pot of soup to keep our bodies healthy, and ward off or help fix whatever bugs and viruses are trying to ruin our holiday!
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!
I have a ton of cookies to bake, so I have to get scootin’! Santa and his reindeer sure are hungry this time of year!
So I’ll see you all after the holidays! Love and Best Wishes to all!
- 4 Tbl. butter
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large stalks celery, sliced, (3 if small)
- 1 (12 oz.) bag baby carrots, sliced into 4ths (5ths for the larger ones)
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic, finely minced, (can sub 1 tsp. garlic powder)
- ½ cup flour
- 6 cups homemade turkey bone broth, (*can sub chicken broth)
- 1 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream, (can sub half and half / regular or low-fat)
- 1½ lbs. cut up leftover cooked turkey (or chicken), (about 3 cups)
- 1 (6 oz.) box long grain & wild rice, cooked according to box directions (regular, not instant)
- 1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ¼ - ⅓ cup asiago cheese, very finely grated (+ more for garnish if desired)
- ½ tsp. salt
- In medium saucepan, cook 1 box long grain & wild rice according to directions on box, cover, set aside. (Use a mix such as Rice-a-Roni or Uncle Ben's.) Regular, not instant.
- In stock pot over medium heat to start, add butter, onion, celery and carrots, and sauté until the veggies are softened and the onions are translucent. (*Lower heat to medium-low about halfway through, then to low during last 5 minutes for best results. Cooking time is about 20 minutes.) Add the garlic, and cook one minute longer. Stir in the flour to coat, raise heat to medium-low, and sauté 2 minutes longer, stirring.
- Slowly stir in the chicken broth, then add the chicken base, thyme, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for at least 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and veggies are tender through. *Stir every now and then scraping bottom of pot.
- Add the cut-up cream cheese, stirring until it has fully melted and the broth is creamy.
- Stir in heavy cream, turkey, cooked wild rice, spinach, and asiago. Cook over Low until heated through, and let rest a few minutes. (*Do not bring to a boil.)
- Remove bay leaf and ladle into bowls! Serve piping hot, garnished with finely chopped fresh parsley or just a sprig, and a little asiago cheese grated over the top if desired. Enjoy!