January 02, 2011

Healthy Eats: Rest-of-the-turkey Soup

I hope you saved the rest of the turkey. Maybe the bones are in your freezer, with the delicious meat carefully wrapped and stored separately. You're tired of turkey sandwiches, a turkey casserole feels like too much work, and frankly, turkey hash just doesn't sound appealing.

Why not make a warming and deeply satisfying soup? The perfect antidote to rich and over-indulgent holiday eating, this soup is a meal in a bowl, and also freezes well.  Richard is the soup maker in the family, and he's perfected this recipe, an old favourite of mine from Weight Watchers. He also loves eating turkey year-round, so don't wait until the holidays to make this.  Take advantage of the fresh turkey parts that are always available.

Richard's Turkey-Vegetable Soup
serves 6-8

2 c cooked turkey meat, white and dark meat combined OR one fresh turkey thigh or breast, diced*
¼ c olive oil
2¼ c thinly sliced shitake mushrooms
2 c sliced carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
2¼ c baby spinach leaves, washed
1 c sliced celery
8 c low-sodium chicken stock (or homemade turkey stock from those bones)
¼ c parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

*If using fresh turkey meat, add the turkey in step one, along with the mushrooms, carrots and garlic, and then proceed with recipe.

1.  In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms, carrots and garlic, and saute, stirring constantly, until just tender, about five minutes. 

Shitake mushrooms add a delicious flavour to this soup

2.  Add celery and spinach and cook for another two or three minutes, until spinach is just wilted.  If using cooked turkey, add at this point, stir to combine, and then add chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat, stir in parsley, and serve.*

*If using fresh turkey, simmer the soup for an additional five to 10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.