Thanksgiving IS my favorite holiday of the year, but what I really look forward to is the leftovers. Turkey burritos, turkey chili, turkey tortilla soup, the list goes on and on. This simple soup gets lots of body from homemade stock and the starchiness of the arborio rice. Arborio is typically used in risotto, but last year I tossed a cup into a pot of soup on a whim and it is perfect for soup!
You can really use just about anything in this soup, just gather up some fresh vegetables and herbs with your leftover turkey. I used carrots, onions, and kale. Some other great options would be leeks, celery, diced celeriac, rutabaga, other greens. The best plan would be to make stock overnight after Thanksgiving Dinner in a crockpot (or on the stove the next day), then put your soup together with leftover turkey and vegetables.
This recipe is easy, the vegetables are diced, herbs left whole (just pull out the stems later), and the rest of the work is simmering. Up the quantities if you’re feeding a crowd, swap out the turkey for chicken, get creative!
Turkey Arborio Rice Soup
2 cups diced or shredded leftover turkey (cooked)
6 – 8 cups turkey stock
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
1 cup diced carrots
6 kale leaves, stems removed, finely shredded
2 tablespoons salted butter
handful of thyme sprigs
1 cup arborio rice
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the onions and carrots, cook for about 6 minutes until the onions are softened and the carrots are browning. Add 6 cups of the stock, the thyme, and arborio rice. Bring soup to almost a boil (a vigorous simmer), and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir the soup frequently, and when the rice is very tender, remove the thyme sprigs (most of the leaves will have fallen off). Stir in the turkey and kale, then simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes depending on how soft you like your kale. Add more stock if necessary to get the desired chunkiness/soupiness. Season with salt and lots of fresh black pepper. Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan if desired.