How about a little leftover turkey orzo soup?
Imagine with me. ‘Tis the day after the big Thanksgiving feast. You blame aunt Gertrude’s pecan pie for the extra five pounds you gained; totally her fault:-) You are most grateful for stretchy sweatpants, and you plan to wear those all day as you continue feasting on Thanksgiving leftovers! I am right there with ya! But now, you stare at your leftover turkey wondering, is there any way around a dry turkey sandwich? Yes! How about a quick leftover turkey soup? And let’s add a little orzo for a Mediterranean twist.
The past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of enjoying Thanksgiving dishes as I tested them for the blog. I try to be diligent about using up leftovers, and I sure had a lot from my Thanksgiving recipe hoopla. While my family was okay eating the sweet potatoes and stuffing without much fuss, the leftover turkey needed a bit of a “disguise.”
There are lots of ideas for how to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey like this turkey pot pie; or The Pioneer Woman’s lovely turkey and Swiss panini; or my friend Kristin’s crockpot quinoa turkey soup. Although Kristin’s recipe calls for ground turkey, I’m thinking chunks of leftover Thanksgiving turkey will do!
Since holidays like Thanksgiving are generous with rich dishes, I decided to do something a little on the lighter side with my leftover turkey. And so, my leftover turkey orzo soup was born. You guys, it is delicious! Not too rich a meal, but hearty enough to warm your belly up 🙂
I will confess that I don’t really love turkey, which is probably why I don’t use it very often. But this soup worked for me. And I think I’ll make it throughout the year. I mean why not! It packs great flavor from garlic, onions, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaf, and fresh mint leaves! Could always use other fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, if you prefer. And I do love orzo pasta, a great ingredient from my childhood days.
Like I said earlier, this was a quick recipe to put together, which leaves enough time for other fun things like Black Friday shopping*. I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy shopping 🙂 And if you ask my husband, he would say that I love it a weeeee bit too much! But I promise, I do find good deals 🙂 How about you? Do you enjoy the busyness of the mall or do you appreciate browsing online deals* at home? If you like an easy day at home, why not relax with a cup of my leftover turkey orzo soup?
Please pin this recipe and make it soon! Let me know how it goes.
Ready? Here is how to make this leftover turkey orzo soup:
Chop up carrots, apples, onions and garlic.
Remove kale ribs, and roughly chop.
In a large and heavy cooking pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. To that, add carrots, apples and onions. Saute for five minutes on medium-high heat, tossing occasionally. Then add chopped garlic, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Toss together briefly.
Add chicken or vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil and then add small chunks of turkey. By the way, I used turkey leg meat. You can use turkey breast or a combination; whatever you have.
Bring back to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Let boil on medium-high for five minutes.
Add kale and mint leaves; then turn heat off immediately and cover. Leave the soup covered for five minutes until orzo cooks to al dente.
Uncover and add lemon juice. Stir to combine. Serve hot with your favorite bread!
*Disclaimer: The Mediterranean Dish is an Amazon affiliate. If you reach Amazon through our website and make a purchase, I receive a small commission to help support this blog. I recommend Amazon because I have used it for years and appreciate what it offers in convenience, pricing and service. Happy black Friday/cyber week shopping!Print
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 Granny Smith apple, washed, dried, chopped
- 1 medium red onion
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 4 15 oz cans chicken or vegetable broth
- 1.5 to 2 cup cooked turkey meat, shredded or chopped, room temperature
- 1 kale bunch, ribs removed, roughly chopped
- 1.5 cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh mint or parsley leaves, stems removed
- 1 lemon or lime, juice of
- Olive oil
- Prepare ingredients as indicated above.
- In a large and heavy cooking pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. To that, add carrots, apples and onions. Saute for five minutes on medium high, tossing occasionally.
- Now add chopped garlic, thyme, nutmeg, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Toss together briefly.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil and then add turkey meat.
- Bring back to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Let boil on medium-high for five minutes.
- Add kale and mint leaves; then turn heat off immediately and cover.
- Leave the soup covered for five minutes until orzo cooks to al dente.
- Uncover and add lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Serve hot with your favorite bread! Enjoy.