This is the season for giving thanks and for breaking out our great-grandmother’s turkey recipe. Here at Clean, we wanted to provide some recipes using the scraps and leftovers that seem to pile up, starting with this delicious turkey soup. Using leftover turkey in this soup helps with Thanksgiving leftovers it also moistens the meat that tends towards dryness. It’s a great recipe to use on the 21-Day Clean Program; just use brown rice instead of white.
It’s easy to boost the nutritional content of this turkey soup. Just add as many greens as possible! We opted for baby spinach, fresh parsley, fresh basil, and green onions. If there are other leftover vegetables we need to use before they go bad, this turkey soup works well for that too!
We can either make a fresh stock or bone broth if we have a turkey carcass leftover, or we can make a vegetable stock following a recipe we can easily find online. I used a pre-made organic low-sodium vegetable broth for this turkey soup, but adding all the veggies adds a lot more flavor.
Quality is important
Turkey is not only a great source of protein; it’s also a good source of zinc, selenium, and phosphorus. In general, we try to avoid deli meats, especially when on the cleanse. Why? They are very processed, contain preservatives for a longer (unnatural) shelf-life, are high in sodium, and contain chemicals that can cause joint pain and headaches.
If our diet includes meat, a good rule of thumb is purchasing from a local butcher. If that’s not possible, try to find a butcher who discloses how they acquire their meat and how the animals are treated and fed. Stick to pasture-raised (raised in free-roaming farms) meat and animals fed a healthy diet free of hormones. It’s definitely worth the investment to spend a little more on meat. In doing so, we receive a high-quality product which translates to better nutrition.
Makes 4-5 Servings
Homemade turkey soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion (chopped)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
8 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
½ chopped celery
½ cup diced carrots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup uncooked long grain white or brown rice (use brown rice if you are on the cleanse)
2 cups diced roasted turkey
¼ cup chopped green onions
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 ½ cups small diced assorted fresh vegetables (we used zucchini and yellow squash)
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
Add the olive oil and onion to a large saucepan and cook onion until translucent then add in the minced garlic and stir for about 1 minute.
Add the vegetable broth, bay leaves, chopped celery, chopped carrots, and salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes.
Stir in the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the turkey, green onions, parsley, basil, chopped vegetables, spinach, and crushed red pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Add more salt or pepper to taste if necessary. Serve hot.
Recipe and photos by Dorit Jaffe