On Thanksgiving day, after the last guest has left, I put together a batch of No Knead Oatmeal Bread dough so I can make fresh bread in the morning for turkey sandwiches. Then, I get to work on this delicious Creamy Turkey Soup. I start by placing the turkey carcass in a stock pot along with a few pieces of celery and onion and adding water to cover it all. I let this simmer on low until bedtime, then I turn off the heat and let it cool down overnight. In the morning, I pull out the carcass and take the meat off the bone and add the meat back into the stock. This stock keeps for a couple of days in the fridge or can be frozen too if you aren’t ready for a second round of turkey the next day. 🙂
Next, I add some chopped carrots, a few sprigs of parsley and stir in a spoonful of leftover stuffing/dressing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. This year, the mashed potatoes vanished so I didn’t have any leftover for the soup. Instead, we did have some squash leftover so I added a spoonful of this instead. Then I just let the soup simmer on low for the day. Between the fresh hot oatmeal bread and this soup simmering, the house smelled pretty darn delicious – almost as good as the smell of the turkey roasting the day before. About 2 hours before serving, I stir in a cup of brown rice (or we could use pasta or quinoa or any grain of choice) and some chopped kale. The last thing I add, right before serving is the secret ingredient that makes this soup rich and creamy, 8 oz. of Velveeta, cubed. I know, I know, Velveeta is not exactly health food, but the richness it adds to this soup is really delicious! We only make this soup once a year and it’s something we all look forward to. 🙂
Like any soup, this Creamy Turkey Soup is pretty flexible – you can add any combination of vegetables and grains or leave them out if you prefer. I would love to add some sauteed mushrooms, but Mo and Em aren’t crazy about them so I leave them out. Kale and carrots are popular with everyone, so they go in. I really like this soup with egg noodles, but the rest of the family prefers rice. Any combination works, so don’t be afraid to experiment. And, another great thing about this recipe, is no measuring!! Well, I do measure the rice and the Velveeta, but other than that, I just through in however much I like or have on hand.
Serve with homemade bread or fast and easy biscuits.