When the weather starts to cool down and the leaves start to change color, nothing comforts me more than a warm, hearty bowl of soup. As an Israeli chef, I have been experimenting with combining different flavors and textures to create unique soup recipes for my customers. Today, I want to share with you one of my personal favorites: Lentil, Turkey and Wild Rice Soup.
This soup is packed with flavor and nutrition, making it the perfect meal for autumn evenings. The lentils provide a great source of protein and fiber, while the turkey adds richness to the broth. Wild rice gives the soup a nutty texture that balances well against the tender vegetables. Together, they create a perfect harmony that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.
What’s great about this recipe is its versatility. It can be made with fresh ingredients or leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner for a thrifty yet delicious meal. The preparation is easy and straightforward – all you need are some basic kitchen tools and an appetite! Don’t let busy weekdays prevent you from enjoying homemade soups anymore, as this recipe can be made ahead and reheated whenever you crave warming comfort food.
Whether you are looking for a quick dinner option or want to impress your guests with minimal effort, my Lentil, Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is sure to satisfy your tastes. Give it a try, embrace autumn’s coziness, enjoy it on its own or pair it with crusty bread to sop up every last drop of deliciousness!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you are looking for a comfort food with a healthy twist, then you will love this lentil, turkey, and wild rice soup recipe. There are countless reasons why this soup is the perfect addition to your fall or winter menu, but I will highlight just a few of them.
Firstly, the combination of the ingredients in this soup is simply divine. The lentils add a hearty texture to the soup while also giving us an excellent source of protein and fiber. The wild rice brings various textures to this dish along with its nutty flavor that goes well with almost any other ingredient. Meanwhile, the turkey adds a rich and flavorful taste that complements the rest of the ingredients perfectly.
This recipe is satisfying but not too heavy. It’s not too thick or too watery – it’s just right! You’ll love how it feels in your mouth, as each bite delivers a delicious blend of flavors and textures. As an added bonus, this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, making it accessible and enjoyable for people with different dietary restrictions.
What’s more – this recipe can be easily modified according to your preferences. You can make variations by adding different herbs or vegetables like carrots, onions, celery, or mushrooms. You can also substitute the turkey with chicken or ground turkey if you don’t have leftover turkey. You can even add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or coconut milk for a creamier consistency.
Lastly, one of the best things about this recipe is that it’s straightforward to prepare despite being loaded with many nutritious ingredients. Whether you use a crockpot or cook it on your stovetop, having this soup simmering on low heat for just an hour will yield an aromatic masterpiece with tons of flavor.
Overall, you’ll love this lentil, turkey, and wild rice soup for its incredibly delicious taste, nutrient-rich ingredients, versatility in modifications, and ease in preparation. Try it yourself today and indulge in one of the healthiest yet tastiest soups ever made!
Before we start with the recipe, let’s go over the ingredients. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything on hand, as there are plenty of substitutions and variations we can work with. Here’s what you need:
- Lentils – 1 cup
- Wild Rice – ½ cup
- Dried Thyme – 2 tsp
- Fresh Thyme – For garnish
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Onion – 1 large or 2 medium, chopped
- Leeks – 2 cups chopped (white and light green parts only)
- Carrots – 1 cup chopped
- Celery Rib – 1 cup chopped
- Garlic – 1 clove minced
- Leftover Turkey – 2 cups cooked, shredded or cubed
- Salt and Pepper – As per taste
- Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
Most of these ingredients are commonly found in everyone’s pantry, especially during Autumn. Make sure to buy fresh herbs and vegetables from a trusted source. Let’s move to the next step, where you’ll find out why this soup is perfect for a cozy Autumn night.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have collected all the ingredients in (3) Ingredient List, it’s time to jump into action and get cooking! Don’t worry though, this recipe is not complicated at all. I will guide you through each step to make sure everything comes out perfect. So put on your apron and let’s get started!
Step 1: Sauté the Vegetables
Firstly in a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped celery rib, 1 diced carrot and 1 sliced leek. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook the vegetables for around 8-10 minutes until they are tender.
Step 2: Mix in Herbs and Rice
Once the vegetables are tender, add a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon of dried thyme to the pot along with 3 cups of water, wild rice blend, and red or brown lentils (whichever you prefer). Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for around 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Step 3: Add Leftover Turkey
Once the rice is cooked, add your leftover turkey (around 2 cups will suffice), allow for it to mix well into the soup. Sometimes people like to use chicken instead of turkey, it’s completely fine as chicken also makes the soup really flavorful.
Step 4: Finish off with Fresh Herbs
Once everything is heated through, stir through a tablespoon of butter, minced garlic (around 4-5 cloves) plus some freshly chopped parsley or thyme. We couldn’t stress more how much fresh herbs can elevate your soup!
Don’t be afraid if your soup looks a bit thick. Some people prefer their soup thick while some don’t. You can always add more liquid if needed – either milk or broth (whichever you have handy). It’s time to dive into this delicious soup!
Substitutions and Variations
In cooking, experimentation is the key to unlocking one’s culinary potential. This recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try to customize this lentil, turkey, and wild rice soup recipe:
– Vegetarian option: Omit the leftover turkey and replace it with diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash for added sweetness and texture.
– Protein variation: Ground turkey or chicken can be used instead of leftover turkey. Alternatively, you may add other types of protein such as sausage or cubed ham.
– Lentil variation: If lentils are not available, you can use other legumes like chickpeas or kidney beans.
– Rice variation: Use brown rice instead of wild rice for added fiber content or you may use quinoa instead for a gluten-free option.
– Vegetables variation: Mix it up by adding chopped mushrooms or corn for more depth and flavor.
– Creamy soup option: To achieve a richer and creamier soup, add half a cup of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking.
– Slow cooker option: Follow the recipe as directed until step 4. Transfer all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
– Pressure cooker option: After sautéing all the vegetables, add all the remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker. Set it to high pressure for 20 mins then natural release for 10 mins.
This recipe is incredibly versatile so feel free to explore different options and find what works best for your taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes time to serving up this lentil, turkey and wild rice soup, there are many options to consider that will make the meal even more delightful. The first thing to think about when serving is the temperature of the soup. It is perfect for a chilly winter night and should be served hot with a little bit of pepper and chopped parsley on top for garnish. This will make the dish look great as well as giving it an extra burst of flavor.
As for pairings, I highly recommend combining this rich, hearty soup with some kind of bread or crackers. A crusty whole grain bread or some crispy crackers would pair perfectly with this earthy soup. Additionally, you can add a side salad topped with your favorite dressing or roasted vegetables, such as brussel sprouts or cauliflower, to balance out the flavors and textures.
If you’re looking for something more substantial to add to your meal, then consider adding a protein like grilled chicken, beef or even fish. The soup’s natural savory taste goes well with meat and can be a great way to add in some extra flavor during the week.
A final recommendation to enhance the experience would be to serve this soup on warm bowlware, which can help keep the contents of the bowl warm while adding a cozy touch to your dining table.
In conclusion, try different combinations of sides and proteins until you find the perfect combination that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors – this dish pairs well with a wide range of savory items which will only add to its already delicious taste.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the best things about this lentil, turkey and wild rice soup recipe is that it’s perfect for making ahead of time. If you’re planning to serve it for dinner, you can easily make the soup in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve.
To make ahead: After the soup has finished cooking, let it cool to room temperature before transferring it to airtight containers. The soup will last in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
To reheat: Thaw frozen soup in the fridge overnight before reheating on medium-low heat on the stovetop. If reheating from chilled, simply reheat over medium-high heat until warmed through. The soup might thicken as it cools, so add some extra broth or water when reheating to loosen it up.
If you have leftover soup, consider turning it into a different dish altogether. This soup is versatile and can be easily transformed into a lentil stew by thickening it with more lentils and vegetables. Alternatively, you can turn it into a creamy turkey and wild rice soup by blending it with some cream or milk.
Whether you want warming leftovers for lunch or a fuss-free dinner during a busy weeknight, this lentil, turkey and wild rice soup recipe is sure to be a hit.
Tips for Perfect Results
Cooking soup requires a balance of flavors and textures. With this Lentil, Turkey & Wild Rice Soup recipe, you’ll want to pay attention to the ratio of lentils to rice, as well as the tenderness of the vegetables in the soup. Here are some tips to ensure that your soup turns out perfectly every time.
1. Use fresh herbs: Fresh thyme and parsley add an extra layer of flavor to this soup. If you can, pick these herbs from your garden or purchase them at a local farmer’s market for optimal freshness.
2. Adjust seasoning as needed: Before serving, taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Be careful not to overdo it, as the soup is meant to have a gentle flavor.
3. Allow enough time for lentils and rice to cook: It is best to cook the lentils until they are tender but not mushy. Similarly, wild rice should be cooked until it is tender but still slightly firm to the bite.
4. Cut your vegetables into bite-size pieces: Carrots, celery, and leeks should be chopped into small cubes so that they cook evenly and at the same rate.
5. Use leftover turkey or freshly cooked ground turkey: This recipe is versatile and can be made using leftover Thanksgiving turkey or freshly cooked ground turkey. Feel free to use whichever option you prefer.
6. Make it thinner or thicker according to your preference: The consistency of this soup can be adjusted by adding additional vegetable broth for a thinner soup or allowing it to simmer longer for a bit thicker texture.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious Lentil, Turkey & Wild Rice Soup that is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your own cravings on a cold day.
As with any recipe, there may be some questions or uncertainties that arise during the cooking process. In this section, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Lentil, Turkey & Wild Rice Soup Recipe to make sure that you have all the information you need to create this dish successfully. Don’t hesitate to refer back to this section if you come across any issues while making your soup!
Why are lentils and rice good together?
Pairing lentils and whole grain rice in a dish is a great way to balance insoluble and soluble fiber intake. Lentils have more insoluble fiber, while whole grain rice has more soluble fiber. The gel produced by soluble fiber in the stomach supports cholesterol reduction and helps maintain steady levels of blood sugar.
Is Homemade lentil soup good for you?
Curious about the health benefits of lentil soup? You’ll be happy to know that it’s actually quite good for you. Lentils are a fantastic source of protein, minerals, and fiber, and are a particularly great choice for vegetarians. In fact, a quarter of the calories in lentils come directly from protein.
Why is my lentil soup so thick?
A useful tidbit for cooking Lentil Soup is that sometimes it can become quite thick, especially after letting it sit overnight. If you find that the soup is too thick, try thinning it out with either water or stock to achieve the desired consistency.
Does lentil soup fill you up?
Lentils are an excellent food to incorporate into your diet as they can help control your hunger and keep you feeling sated for longer periods. This is because lentils contain an abundance of fiber, meeting a significant portion of your daily fiber requirement with just one serving.
In conclusion, this Lentil, Turkey & Wild Rice Soup recipe is a must-try for every home cook who wants to create a hearty and healthy meal that is both nutritious and delicious. With its blend of aromatic herbs, spices, and fresh vegetables, this soup is an enticing alternative to regular chicken or vegetable soup.
This recipe offers countless possibilities for adapting the ingredients to suit your preferences, from using ground turkey instead of leftover turkey to experimenting with different types of rice or lentils. You can even customize it further by adding your favorite toppings, such as freshly chopped parsley or a sprinkle of black pepper for some extra heat.
Most importantly, this soup is a budget-friendly way to serve up a nutritious and satisfying meal that will leave everyone feeling warm and satisfied. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Lentil, Turkey & Wild Rice Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium leeks (well rinsed & thinly sliced)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled & chopped
- 1 medium celery rib, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 cup lentils, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Melt butter over med-high heat.
- Add leeks, carrots & celery and cook until leeks are softened.
- Stir in bay leaf, thyme, rice & chicken stock.
- Cover & bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low & simmer 30 minutes.
- Stir in lentils & turkey.
- Cook until rice is tender (about 25 minutes longer).
- Remove bay leaf & thyme sprig.
- Stir in parsley & pepper just before serving.