CrockPot Turkey and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

November 20, 2008

Day 325.

The weather has officially changed. I am running the heat in the morning, the guinea pigs have moved inside, and the flannel sheets are out of hiding. 

Last night, I finally finished reading "The Long Winter" to the girls. We have so much to be thankful for--- if you have kids that sometimes forget how richly blessed modern day life is, I highly recommend reading it aloud.

Anyway. Today I am thankful that I met Kalyn Denny at BlogHer, and I am so happy to have found her Turkey and Wild Rice Soup. 

Adam proclaimed it the best turkey soup he's ever had, and the kids each ate two bowls. I may have wept. I'm not sure.

The Ingredients.
adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen

To Make the Broth:

turkey carcass (if you don't have one, you can use 2 cups of cooked turkey)
8 cups water (to make broth. if you don't have a carcass, use 8 cups chicken broth)
1 chicken bouillon cube (only if you are using the carcass to make broth. Don't use if you're using broth.)

Put your turkey carcass into a crockpot, and cover with 8 cups of water.

 If you need to break the bones down to fit in your crock, do so.
If your turkey carcass is still “stuffed” – leave it in.

You may certainly add some onion, celery, or anything else you'd like to season the broth. 

The more meat and skin left on the bones, the more flavorful the broth.

Cover and cook on low overnight. 

I cooked the broth for 10 hours. In the morning, put on an apron to strain the broth with a colander.
Since I have a bunch of crockpots, I strained the broth into a new one. You might need to strain the broth into a big bowl, then dump it back into the crockpot.

Pick off the meat, and add it to the broth.

PS: If you'd like to put the turkey bones into a "Soup Sock" -- you can do so which will allow the flavor of the bones to permeate the broth without worrying about any sort of bone fragments in your soup!!

The Rest of the Ingredients:

2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon ground or rubbed sage
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups spinach leaves (to add later)

Use a 6-quart slow cooker.

Follow in the instructions to make broth with your turkey bones/carcass. If you don’t want to do this step, use 8 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of diced turkey.

Chop up the vegetables (not the spinach), and add to the pot. Dump in the wild rice. Add the sage, bouillon cube, and balsamic vinegar. Stir.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6. Stir in spinach leaves.

Turkey and wild rice soup made from leftover turkey. This is a crockpot slow cooker recipe.

The Verdict.

This is my new favorite soup. I love, love, love the hint of tartness from the balsamic vinegar, and how it darkened the broth. The wild rice exploded a bit, and actually resembled barley by the time we ate it. The kids ate a bunch, and I had at least 3 bowls throughout the day yesterday. We have a quart left, which I will happily serve for lunch.

Thank you, Kalyn!

Thanksgiving slow cooker ebook by Stephanie O'Dea
Thanksgiving ebook, click for details.

Turkey and wild rice soup made from leftover turkey. This is a crockpot slow cooker recipe.

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at November 20, 2008

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  1. I am SO excited about the crockpot gear - SO EXCITED! I just sent my husband an e-mail with the link entitled "what I want for Christmas!". Thanks, Steph! Also, the soup looks yummy. :)

  2. I am absolutely lovin' what I see! I can't wait to try some of this stuff out. Thank you! Thank you!

  3. Once again another winning recipe! It sounds delicious, can't wait to get a turkey and give it a try!

    What are we all going to do when the year is over without our daily recipe? Thank you so much for being faithful to your blog every day.

  4. looks great! It may be a stupid question, but can you use frozen spinach? i have a block of it that i'm wanting to get rid of.

  5. I am so trying this!! I also just left you a Fabulous Award over at my blog because well, you are fabulous!

  6. Hi Melissa,

    not a stupid question! Put the soup together, and put the box of frozen spinach in a bowl to thaw while the soup is cooking. An hour or so before serving, squeeze the moisture out of the spinach and stir it in.


  7. Yummmmm! I'm going to have to tuck this one away for after Thanksgiving.

  8. My sister and I used to read "Long Winter" out loud to each other on really hot summer days (no AC in our house). It helped, seriously!

  9. This is just to say I LOVE the Little House book, and the Long Winter is one of my favorite. Actually they're all my favorite.

  10. Dumb question, but if I am using broth and not a turkey do I still need to let the broth cook over night?

  11. I've never heard the term "carcass" in reference to food before. I wonder why that is...

    The recipe sounds really good though. I may even be able to get my hubby to try it. (He only likes soup from a can or full of beef... oh well!)

  12. Yaaay. I'm so glad I met you too, because you've inspired me to use the crockpot so much more (and I even added a new section to my archives for crockpot and pressure cooker recipes!)

    Glad you liked the soup too!

  13. This sounds delicious - can't wait to try it.

    Also had to let you know that the pumpkin lattes are wonderful! I gave the recipe to my daughter. She made it for her Bible study group and also took some to work. It was a hit!

  14. Thanks for another great recipe. I, too, loved the pumpkin latte recipe and am now addicted to it! WHEN do we get the chocolate peppermint mocha recipe that was listed as coming soon on your Thanksgiving list? I want it NOW (ala Violet from the original Willie Wonka movie.)

    Thanks for all you do. I am a crockpot 365 evangelist. :-)

  15. looks so yummy! We use uncooked wild rice, right?

  16. I am so excited to make this the weekend after Thanksgiving! I love the flavors. I also totally love your blog, I tell everyone about it.

  17. This will be great for my leftover turkey and we love wild rice.

    I believe there is some magical curative power to turkey or chicken soup that helps you get over colds faster too !

  18. This is so exactly the way to make this soup! I wish I had the time to make a 1 1/2 day soup, but it only happens on long weekends.
    And I love wild rice with turkey!

  19. Cabbage! Engorgement! Oh my stars, I have laughed until I cried. Just not at all what I was expecting in a recipe, but it sure took me back to those stupefying days of nursing a newborn. Thanks not only for the recipe but for laugh, as well.

  20. as i sit here hitting 'refresh, refresh, refresh' over and over for today's pot...I wonder 'what the HELL am i gonna do NEXT year??????' I am absolutely addicted to this now.

    I only found you a couple weeks seems so like a summer lovin' kinda thing. :)

  21. Sounds wonderful, although I will probably substitute Kale or Collard Greens for the spinach, since they don't turn to mush when cooked for a long time.

  22. MMMMmmmm! This looks delicious!

  23. Just got finished eating my second bowl of this for dinner. This was SOOO good! I had never used wild rice in a soup before - I love how it cooked all day long with the rest of the soup. Thank you so muchf or this great recipe!

  24. My name is Brenda, and I'm a crock pot addict. Just found your blog! I'll be back! Gonna make the turkey wild rice soup. Don't worry, wild rice is SUPPOSED TO look like that. It isn't supposed to be eaten when is is still crunchy sticks. Yuck! Thanks so much for your blog and recipes. Please keep it up!

  25. here's a thought...if you got a small turkey breast, you could use the chicken broth and cook it in the same fashion that you did the Salsa Chicken! with just my husband and I, a whole turkey is WAY to much. and the white meat is much leaner. cook all day and it will be tender and flake into the soup!

    my goal this winter is to make soup at least once a week. thanks for all the GREAT recipes!

  26. Question...My kids would never eat rice, but they would eat noodles. How could I substitute? This recipe is going to be perfect for all my thanksgiving leftovers:)

  27. Hi Wendy,

    about 30 minutes before you want to serve the soup, stir in uncooked noodles and switch to high. I usually only put in 1/2 cup of raw pasta---it really swells a lot in the crock.


  28. Thanks so much Steph!! This is on my menu for Sunday:)

  29. Would it be okay to use Uncle Ben's brown rice in this recipe?

  30. I made this today, and would definitely recommend adding more water or broth. I am not that experienced at crock pot cooking and mine was almost dry when I came home. However, I added some more water and some salt to it and it tasted good.

  31. I'm dying to try this recipe! A couple of questions: a) would substituting another kind of vinegar substantially change the taste? (I have cider vinegar and red wine vinegar); and b) how would using a mix of wild rice and brown rice work? Again, something I already have on hand . . .

  32. Hi there! using brown rice would work fine, but it will disappear a bit on you if it's in the whole time. Rice tends to explode if in too long. I'd stir it in 2 hours before serving, if you can. Otherwise, precook some while you're assembling the soup, and stir it in when you get home for the day.

    I'd go for apple cider vinegar over red wine. Red wine might be too sweet.


  33. Hi! I just found your blog the other day. I love my crockpots! I have two, which I felt guilty to justify, until I saw your blog! LOL

    I made this soup last night. I made two substitutions and an "unsubstitution", and it came out beautifully.

    I used cabbage as the original recipe calls for, since its what I had on hand.

    I used short grain brown rice, adding it at the beginning, and it was just fine. It was a bit mushy, but I expect that in soups.

    I also used red wine vinegar instead of balsamic. It gave just that hint of tanginess that I was looking for. Very tasty!

    I love that I was able to use all of my Thanksgiving turkey this year. We bought a large turkey just so that we can have leftovers for additional recipes!

    Thank you so much for this blog!

  34. I made this soup tonight- cold, rainy and bone chilling November night in Pittsburgh. I used my
    (woefully) overcooked, leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It was unsuited for anything but soup! Soup was delicious. Also- try the pasta fagioli (0ctober recipe) it was a really big hit. Love your blog. Such a wide range of ideas. I'll admit that I'm a soup/stew person when it comes to the slow cooker. Anxious to try the granola recipe to move beyond my "comfort zone".

  35. Thank you for helping me feel like a real cook this past weekend! My oven cooked turkey turned out great but my favorite part was sticking the carcass in the CrockPot Thursday night with the veggies and waking up to the most delicious smell EVER! Then on Saturday, I put together this soup and it was awesome! Unfortunately, I couldn't get my sick husband or picky kids to join in my enthusiasm so I wanted to share with you! I love your blog. I just recently found it and have found renewed motivation in the kitchen. I was definitely in a cooking slump! I am looking forward to trying all of the recipes that I am behind on!

  36. I cook GF for my husband. A friend just told me about this blog. Crockpot Lady you are my new BFF :) I can't wait to try this recipe and many other GF ones. Thank you!!!!

  37. I am in a dinner club where every week we each take turns making dinner for the other families.

    I made this recipe (with frozen turkey from Christmas!) and it was really unbelievable! I questioned that it did not have much seasoning, but the flavors were dynamite! I can't wait to hear how my friends liked it!

    thanks so much!!!

  38. I've got a turkey, all right, only I'm married to him.

  39. I just made this again yesterday for my dinner club! So yummy!!

  40. I made your recipe with alternate ingredients. I had a Pheasant from a hunting trip this week, so I was looking for a good recipe to combine the pheasant with some wild rice that a friend from Minnesota had given me. I made some slices across the breast meat and cooked down the whole bird, some onion, celery, and carrots. I added a cup or so of crimini mushrooms. I rinsed and added the rice, spinach, some BokChoy, and mushrooms a couple hours into the cooking process but the rice still got mushy. Guess next time I will do like I do when making other soups with rice and add it in the last hour or so. We did leave for the afternoon, so you can still go out while this is cooking. Oh, I did have to add some salt and pepper, but the amount is up to the individual.

  41. and i thought i was the only one who used cabbage for engorgement, lol!! i'm loving your blog and can't believe i've missed it all these years :( tried the apple coffee cake tonight and i will never again be able to make a single recipe as my family attacked it like ravished wolves. your blog is awesome and you are hilarious!! ~Kati :)

  42. I can't wait to try this recipe (once it gets cooler) as we are working on less gluten in our diet, among other things. Nothing on the "NO" list is in this recipe - hooray!

    Sounds like this makes a lot. Have you tried freezing it? I'm always looking for recipes that freeze well. I may try it with a small amount just to see.

    Thanks for all your great recipes and inspirations!

  43. I just made this soup and gave to my church organist -- his wife is on severe medication which makes her nauseated.

    I thought this soup would be good for her.

    I cut the recipe in half for my 3 quart crock pot. I had a small bowl of it before I gave them the rest. Hey, I had to try it out! Julia Child always said that! =O)

    Now I need to make a pot for myself, as I have more than enough leftover ingredients to make another pot. Oh darn!

  44. Can't wait to try this recipe today! And by the way, we're reading "On The Banks of Plum Creek" right now (to my two BOYS who love it!), so it's still summertime where we are! :) haha!

  45. Well, the turkey is in the crockpot, and hate to wish the day away, but can't wait to taste it!

    Happy to see folks reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books! My husband's grandfather was
    "Banker Ruth" in The Long Winter, and lived a couple of doors down from the Ingalls family in DeSmet, SD. His home has been restored and is now a B&B.

  46. Just finished making the broth over night with the carcass and it smells wonderful. Can't wait for dinner tonight.

  47. I adore Kalyn. It was through her site that I found you for the Mashed Potato recipe. I'm on the South Beach diet for life and am gluten intolerant, which is why I looked for a turkey and rice soup instead of one with noodles. We are fortunate that this time of year in Florida we have greens in the yard. We added kale instead of spinach. It was AWESOME. I won't say this is on my rotation list, but it is definitely on my list for what to do with turkey next time we roast it. By the way, I am now up from one crock pot to five, ranging in all different sizes. Who would have thunk it.

  48. Oh my gosh! This soup was amazing and I'm not much of a soup lover. I wasn't sure about the balsamic vinegar, but after eating the soup, I totally get it. My family absolutely loved it. Thank you so much!

  49. This soup was VERY tasty! Even hubby who isn't the biggest fan of soups really liked this one!

  50. Ok. Turkey wings were on sale and I bought two instead of buying cooked turkey (didn't have a carcass eithier). I'm going to wing it (ha! pun intended) and throw them wings in there for as long as the soup requires and see what happens...Is it going to be a disaster??


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