Today I learned something that will SAVE time! Yep, and it will also help to purge your post-Thanksgiving refrigerator clutter. Well, the bird clutter anyway. You can make creamy, Panera-style wild rice soup with leftover turkey…wait for it….IN THE CROCK POT!
On Pinterest, I found about a gazillion recipes for leftover turkey: casseroles, sandwiches, stir fry, and even quesadillas and turnovers. They all sounded good, but what I really wanted was some of Panera’s Chicken Wild Rice soup. Sounds good, doesn’t it? There were a few “turkey wild rice soup” recipes on Pinterest, but none that looked to my own liking so I pulled from 6-7 different recipes for both turkey wild rice soup and creamy chicken wild rice soup and slow cooker creamy chicken rice soup and the results were DELICIOSO!
Take a gander at this (pardon the turkey pun, I love puns!):
Oh.My.Goodness, was it ever good!
Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup ala Slow Cooker
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 boxes (4.2 oz) Rice-a-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice
- 1 cup shredded carrot (I bought pre-shredded!)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 chopped green onions (both white and green parts)
- 2 tablespoons crumbled bacon (oh, yeah!)
- 2 cups roasted, chopped turkey (use leftovers!)
- 2 cups half & half (could also use heavy cream for even creamier soup)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprigs of fresh rosemary
Directions: Combine chicken stock, water, rice (with seasoning packets), carrots, celery, onions, and bacon in crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours, give or take. About 35 minutes before serving, melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flower to make a roux. (Isn’t ROUX a cool, Cajun-ey word? A roux is a butter-flour sauteed mixture that will thicken up your soup and make it CAH-REAMY!) Mix the roux (I just love saying that) into the crock pot along with the turkey and half & half and turn up the heat to high. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the soup is thickened. Serve with new little sprigs of fresh rosemary (just so it looks pretty), and–this is a must–some crusty French baguette.
This will make a lot of soup. Our family of five (including 3 guys over the age of 13) ate about half of the recipe, which filled my jumbo slow cooker up to the top. I was able to completely fill up a 7-cup storage container nearly to the brim, so I am thinking the recipe would probably serve 8-10 people all told.
I am going to pop my leftover soup in the freezer and pull it out on a cold, dreary day. You can either thaw it completely and then heat it on the stove or in the microwave, or, if you can free the frozen hunk of soup from the container, you could also just heat it from frozen and add a little water to prevent the cream from burning.
Everyone at my house loved this soup. This recipe is definitely a keeper, and it’s so easy (and freezer-friendly), not to mention cheap if you’re using leftover turkey or chicken, that I think it’s going to get added to my regular starting lineup.