We’re still polishing off the wonderful pasture-raised turkey that I got from Falling Sky Farm for Thanksgiving. You may remember that we ate a lot of turkey eat fresh then, but I also broke it down enough immediately to freeze some in various serving sizes. Today I’m going to use about four ounces of the turkey along with wild rice and vegetables to make a hearty, healthy entree soup that’s perfect for these frugal economic times. I’m serving it with acorn squash, roasted and stuffed with apples, cranberries, and walnuts, for an extra kick of healthy flavor to round out the meal. This soup and acorn squash meets the old Southern standard of “meat and three” in an unusual form, and most of the ingredients came from our land or a nearby farm. With just 4 ounces of turkey in the whole soup, you are getting most of your protein from the frugal, healthy combination of wild rice and beans, but no one will miss a pile of meat in this meal.
- 1 thin pat butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- shaft (white) portion of a leek, cut in half lengthwise to clean out the grit and then sliced across the shaft (or 1/2 sweet yellow onion)–Save the tougher leaves for a recipe you’ll puree.
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/3 cup diced celery (basically a rib)
- 1/3 cup wild rice
- twig (about 5 inches long, leaves attached) or two of fresh rosemary (Don’t have fresh? use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary.)
- four or more leaves of fresh sage (Don’t have fresh? Use 1 teaspoon of rubbed sage.)
- optional: 1 or 2 hot peppers, sliced thinly
- 4 ounces of cooked turkey (about a 1/3-1/2 cup)–Yes, you could use diced chicken, even fresh, as long as you add it in the soup when you start the rice and increase your herb quantity.
- 1/2-1 cup pole beans (a.k.a. green beans), cut into bite-sized pieces–I used a mix of green and wax (yellow) beans
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by prepping your leeks. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, like a 2-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Add the leeks, stir, and start to caramelize. Dice the carrots. Add those too. Dice the celery. Add it too. By now your leeks will be caramelized sufficiently. Add the wild rice and a cup and a half of water and stir.Yes, that’s the wild rice–actually not rice but a grass seed. It’s got a nutty flavor. Now lay the rosemary twig and sage on the top. Do not stir in; we’re going to take them out later. (Of course, stir them in if you used dried herbs.) Simmer over low heat for about 40 minutes. Take out the herbs if you used fresh. Add the turkey, beans, and optional chiles with 2-3 cups more water and about 1 teaspoon salt. Be forewarned: the rice is already cooked, but it is a very thirsty grain. It will keep soaking up liquid, but we’ve made this soup flavorful enough that you can safely keep adding water. Add salt and pepper to taste as needed.
makes 5-6 cups of soup
Serve this simple, comforting soup with a hearty vegetable side like our acorn squash halves stuffed with diced apples, cranberries, and walnuts seasoned with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Do you have questions about wild rice? Do you have a favorite wild rice recipe you’d like to share? Join the discussion in the comments section!
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