Got leftover turkey this holiday season? Turn it into a warm and inviting turkey vegetable soup packed with vegetables and fluffy dill dumplings.
I hate to tell you this. I just took my Halloween decorations down. They stayed up all through November and Thanksgiving and then last week we had a huge beautiful tree blazing brilliantly in the front windows and a sign hanging beside the door that said “Trick or Treat.” Go ahead. Laugh if you want. We were white trash there for about a week. I will admit it.
As a follow up to my turkey tetrazzini, I wanted to share with you a wonderful soup I made last weekend using the remains of our twenty-pound beast that did not go into the tetrazzini. I usually always make turkey pumpkin chili, but I actually just made a big pot of chili a few weeks ago and didn’t want to have it again. I found this recipe and was totally turned on by the dumplings.
Making Your Own Turkey Broth
The base for turkey vegetable soup is homemade turkey broth. If I have a leftover chicken or turkey carcass I will frequently make homemade stock because it’s economical and tastes so much better than store bought.
Simply place your turkey carcass in a large stockpot. I like to add a few vegetables and herbs for extra flavor such as carrots, celery, onion, fresh thyme, parsley, or rosemary. Add 7 cups of cold water then bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot, then simmer for one hour.
Allow the broth to cool before straining it. Then discard all the solids, like the carcass, vegetables, and herbs. This can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
You will end up with way more broth than the recipe calls for. The good news is, homemade broth freezes well. Save what you don’t need for a soup recipe later on.
While I do encourage you to make homemade broth, I know it’s not practical for everyone. If you don’t have time, use 2 quarts (8 cups) store bought chicken broth.
How to Make Turkey Vegetable Soup
Step one. Heat some canola or vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add some diced onion and cook for about two minutes until the onion is soft.
Step two. Add sliced carrots and saute for four minutes. Season your vegetables with salt and pepper to your preference.
Step three. Add a can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 a cup of dry white wine. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay would work well here. Try to buy something you’ll drink since you only need a small amount.
Add two quarts of broth, either store bought of homemade, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetable are tender, which should take about 15 minutes. Taste the soup to see if it’s seasoned to your liking. If not, add more salt and pepper.
Step four. Add diced leftover turkey meat and 2 cups of chopped spinach. You can use fresh or frozen spinach. If using frozen, no need to thaw. Just drop the frozen spinach right into the broth.
At this point, the turkey vegetable soup can be stored in the fridge for up to two days or frozen for six months.
Make the Dill Dumplings
The light, buttery dumplings are what make this dish. The dill complements the other flavors in the soup so well.
Step one. In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of water, some unsalted butter and salt. Bring this to a boil. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat but don’t turn the burner off. Whisk in 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour.
Step two. Return the pan to the heat and stir the dough until the mixture begins to pull away from the side of the pan.
Step three. Scrap the dough into a large bowl. Add one large egg and whisk until the batter is smooth and the egg is completely incorporated.
Gently fold in the herbs. You don’t want to mix your dough too much or the dumplings will become more dense and lose their fluffy texture. The dumpling batter may be store in the fridge for for up to one day. Be sure to cover the batter so it doesn’t dry out. It is not recommended that you freeze the batter.
Now to Put it all Together
Before adding the dumplings to the soup, bring the soup to a simmer. Drop 1/2-teaspoon amounts of dumpling batter into the hot soup. Repeat until all the batter is gone.
The dumplings will expand and double in size as they cook. You’ll know the dumplings are done when they begin to rise to the surface.
Turkey Soup with Dill Dumplings
For the turkey broth:
- 2 medium carrots cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 medium celery stalks cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into quarters
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 roasted turkey carcass broken in half, plus any leftover bones
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 4 medium carrots quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14.5 oz.) 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 3 cups roast turkey shredded
- 2 cups chopped spinach
For the dumplings:
- 3 ounces 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1.5 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons fresh dried dill
- 1.5 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons fresh dried parsley flakes
- 1.5 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons fresh dried chives
For the broth:
- In a large stock pot, combine the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, wine, and turkey carcass. Add 7 quarts of cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Let cool.
For the soup:
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to brown, about two minutes.
- Add the carrots and sauté for four minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes, wine, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add two quarts of broth and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the turkey and spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. At this point, the soup may be cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to a simmer before continuing.
For the dumplings:
- In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water, butter, salt to a boil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the flour until thoroughly combined.
- Return the pan to the burner and stir until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl. Beat in the egg until the batter is smooth. Fold in the herbs. The dumpling batter may be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
- Drop ½ teaspoons of batter into the simmering soup until all of the batter is used. After the dumplings rise to the top, cover the pan and steam the dumplings until they have puffed up to double their size, about 4 minutes. Serve hot.