Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

Our dear friend Melanie made this recipe for us to stock our freezer before Elspeth was born. We appreciated this so much in those early, crazy weeks. I since bought the cookbook it comes from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Food Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. This is an incredibly comforting and nourishing soup. As usual, I've messed around with the recipe and techniques based on what makes sense in the moment.

This is delicious accompanied by some no-knead bread (we use a cookbook called Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)

METHOD ONE if you have homemade turkey or chicken stock on hand or want to use storebought
(This is arguably a faster, simpler method that cooks in one pot and is the main way I changed the original recipe. I also like the texture of the turkey meat more.)

INGREDIENTS
2-3 pound organic turkey breast
2 TBSP olive oil
1 large leek cleaned well and sliced in half moons OR
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 tsp dried thyme OR
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp dried sage OR a few leaves fresh sage
1 cup wild rice
8-10 cups water, turkey or chicken broth
1 bunch greens, washed and chopped or ground finely in a food processor (the original recipe calls for baby spinach but we never have this around and do tend to have other greens)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (we often omit this if our parsley outside isn't doing well)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Roast the turkey breast. I like to slather it with a small amount of olive oil and then salt and pepper it. I also like to eat the roasted skin...my guilty pleasure. Once the turkey is roasted and cooled, separate the meat from the bone and set meat aside. You will also be happy if you put any drippings from the roasted turkey into your soup
  2. Saute the leek/onion, celery and carrot in the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot
  3. Add the turkey meat, herbs, wild rice and water. You should have enough water to cover all the ingredients by 1-2 inches, as the wild rice will soak up a lot of water
  4. Cook until the wild rice is thoroughly cooked (it will burst its skin), around an hour
  5. Add the washed greens to the pot and cook another 10-15 minutes
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed--we'll often add a slug of champagne vinegar for a little brightness
METHOD TWO if making your own stock
INGREDIENTS
2-3 pounds organic turkey breast with bone and skin
1 large onion, chopped with skin on
1 large carrot, cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (I often omit as I find rosemary too strong)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
5 whole black peppercorns
1 TBSP sea salt (I often omit this, too)
8 cups water

DIRECTIONS
  1. Place all ingredients in a big pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone easily.
  2. Strain the broth into a colander. Discard the solids (except turkey) and set broth aside.
  3. Take turkey meat off bone and follow the instructions in METHOD ONE from Step 2

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