One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the left-overs.
With as much as we cook it’s never a surprise that we can’t eat it all, which is fine by me. I love a breakfast of cornbread stuffing and turkey before I start putting up my Christmas decorations. Usually we have so much left over turkey, mom inevitably roasts a 22 pound bird, that we have enough for two or three days. As much as I love plain roast turkey after three days even I get a little weary of it. That is why I came up with some fun ways to use up the extra turkey meat that keep me from culinary boredom.
This soup is a great way to use up extra breast meat. You could use thigh here, and I have and it is lovely, but left over breast meat tends to get a little dry and unpalatable after a day in the fridge. Let’s be honest, it is really at its peak fresh from the oven, but this recipe restores the meat to juicy perfection. Mushrooms, in particular button and oyster, add the right aromatic pungency to compliment the delicate flavor of the breast meat. This soup makes an excellent light meal that is the perfect balm after a day of total indulgence.
Turkey and Mushroom Soup Serves 6
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pint button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1/2 pint oyster mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup turkey or chicken stock
3 cups water
2 cups cooked turkey breast, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a heavy pot over medium heat add the chopped bacon. Cook until the bacon is golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan.
Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about three minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about thirty seconds.
Add all the chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are soft, about five minutes. Add the flour and cook until the mixture is lightly brown and no dry flour remains, about three minutes.
Add the turkey stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the water, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and chopped turkey. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat until the soup simmers. Cook, uncovered, until reduced by 1/3, about 20 minutes. Once reduced add the milk and return the mixture to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish the soup with the crisp bacon. Enjoy!