Hearty Wild Rice, Butternut Squash & Turkey Soup

This time of year, heart-warming and soul-soothing stews and soups make a regular appearance at my table. Soups, stews, chilis and other one-pot meals are my go-to when the weather turns frosty and the fridge is full of miscellaneous bits and pieces from meals enjoyed earlier in the week. This hearty soup fits the bill!

I love meals like these because they don’t require much babysitting—you can set them on the stove, check on them every once in a while, and they practically take care of themselves. Just be sure not to overcook the vegetables, or no one will be happy with the soggy, grey results.

Turkey and wild rice soup

I wanted to highlight wild rice because it’s not a food that I often cook with. The cook time is substantial so it’s not ideal for most weeknights. Weekends, sure, but not a weeknight when time is limited and big and little mouths are hungry.

Here is a bit of nutritional know-how about wild rice, although it is not technically even rice at all. High in protein and fibre and low in calories and fat, wild rice is a type of North American marsh grass that is nutty and chewy once cooked. Toothsome would be a good way to describe it! It offers decent amounts of magnesium and B vitamins, provides significant potassium, some niacin and zinc.

The flavour of this Hearty Wild Rice, Butternut Squash & Turkey Soup is smoky, layered and spicy. You can, however, adjust the spiciness up or down based on how much ground cayenne and/or red chilli flakes you add. I used some incredibly flavourful, organic and antibiotic-free turkey that I cooked, chopped and froze after Thanksgiving, but you could easily substitute chicken, beans or another favourite source of protein.

Taste your seasoning as you go along and again at the end so you can make any changes necessary to make this suitable for your family.

Here’s how to make this hearty soup:

Hearty Wild Rice, Butternut Squash & Turkey Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 very large Vidalia onion chopped
  • 1 cup wild rice or a wild rice/brown rice blend
  • 1 large carrot about 1 cup, chopped
  • 3 cups butternut squash about 500 g, peeled and chopped
  • ½ small head of green cabbage I used Savoy and this was about 200 g, sliced thinly
  • 7-8 cups homemade vegetable substitute water if you don’t have homemade stock, chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 ½ cups of cooked preferably organic, antibiotic-free, roughly chopped turkey
  • 2 ½ Tb ground turmeric
  • 2 ½ Tb smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne optional for spiciness
  • ½ to 1 tsp red chilli flakes optional for spiciness
  • 1 tsp sea vegetable powder optional – this provides extra minerals and salty flavour
  • Sea salt I used 2 Tb
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh optional, minced parsley or cilantro to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse wild rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion to a large stock pot and sauté with a tablespoon of coconut oil for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add wild rice and mix to coat well.
  3. Add 3 cups of homemade stock or water, cover and bring to a boil. Once at a low boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.
  4. Add carrots, butternut squash, cabbage, turkey and 4 cups of stock or water. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Add additional water if needed for a thinner soup.
  6. Add spices and season.
  7. Serve as is or with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro.

Wild rice and turkey soup
This soup might also be a great candidate for the crock pot during the day when you’re away from home. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

What’s your favourite comfort dish when the weather turns cold?

Life is a plate… Eat up!

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