Print Options:

Creamy Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

It's the weekend after Thanksgiving, and usually by now I'll be reaching the end of my patience with the leftovers. Most years I'll turn whatever turkey meat I have left into turkey salad using this recipe, but this year I decided to try something different. Since the weather here has been cooler lately (in Texas, anything below 70 degrees is considered "cooler"), I decided to try making a turkey soup.

This is a very easy to make recipe with only a few major ingredients, most of which you may have from cooking on Thanksgiving (onions, celery, carrots, and especially turkey). So, it's a great recipe to use up those items and not leave any waste. It's also different enough from most of the typical "after Thanksgiving meals" that you'll find it a welcome change.

There was one major problem I encountered while preparing this soup. In the original recipe, it called for 8 cups of broth or stock (turkey or chicken, whichever you have) and one pound of wild rice (and then one cup of heavy cream to be added later). By the time the rice was done, there wasn't much left in the way of liquid and the soup was the consistency of a thick stew. After doing a little research, I figured out what happened:

Wild rice is different from long-grain, Jasmine, and other white rice in that wild rice needs more water to cook it. White rice usually is cooked in a 2-to-1 ratio (2 cups water per 1 cup dry rice). By comparison, wild rice is usually cooked in a 3-to-1 ratio (3 cups water to 1 cup dry wild rice). 1 pound of dry wild rice is about 2 1/2 cups, and therefore needs about 8 cups of water. Since there were only 8 cups of broth in the recipe, this meant there was nothing left after the rice was cooked. To make up for this, I slowly added hot water (I was out of broth) until it reached a consistency I was okay with for serving (about 4 cups). But, I noticed as I was packaging up the leftover soup later that it had thickened even more, so when I pull the soup out for the next meal more water will be added (probably another 3-4 cups).

In all fairness, I think the person who wrote up the recipe may have used a more common long-grain and wild rice blend, while I followed the description and used a purely wild rice blend. I adjusted the measurements accordingly on the recipe card and added notes to help with either selection.

Adapted from Midwest Nice

Cooking Method
Courses , ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 12
Best Season

A creamy delicious soup that uses Thanksgiving leftovers - win-win!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 16 ounces wild rice blend (see notes)
  • 16 cups turkey or chicken broth or stock (see notes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and lightly toast for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add the broth and stir until thoroughly mixed. Add the bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer until the rice is cooked, about 40-45 minutes.

  3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the cooked turkey and the heavy cream, stirring until well blended. Cook about 5 minutes or until the turkey is warmed through. Check taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 305kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11.5g18%
Saturated Fat 4.7g24%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 580mg25%
Potassium 353mg11%
Total Carbohydrate 32.5g11%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g14%
Sugars 2.8g
Protein 17.5g35%

Calcium 29 mg
Iron 5 mg
Vitamin D 280 IU

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

  • The nutritional information assumes the following:
    • A pure wild rice blend is used
    • 8 cups of chicken broth and 8 cups of water are used
  • This recipe can vary greatly depending on the type of rice blend used.
    • Pure wild rice blends require 3 cups of liquid per cup of dry rice.
    • Long grain (white) and wild rice blends require just over 2 cups of liquid per cup of dry rice.
    • White rice alone requires 2 cups of liquid per cup of dry rice.
    • How to adjust the quantities needed:
      • If using a pure wild rice blend, plan on 16 cups of broth (or a combination of 8 cups broth and 8 cups water).
      • If using a long grain and wild rice blend, plan on 12-14 cups of broth (or a combination of 8 cups broth and 4-6 cups water).
      • If using white rice alone, plan on 12 cups of broth (or a combination of 8 cups broth and 2 cups water).
  • The soup may still thicken toward the end of cooking. If this happens, add hot water 1 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Turkey or chicken broth or stock may be used.
  • Chicken can be substituted for the turkey if desired.
  • For a creamier flavor, increase the amount of heavy cream up to 2 cups.
Keywords: Thanksgiving, turkey, soup, cream, wild rice, onion, celery, carrots