Ok, so sometimes I use smoked turkey, sometimes I use Turkey Leftovers and sometimes I use chicken – I LOVE finding use for leftovers, especially turkey because it’s so versatile! Half my works done! See 12 Days of Turkey for even more ideas!
This is one of our family favorites. When my son was small, he didn’t want to try this – he didn’t like “soup.” When I explained this was not a soup, but a chowder, he agreed to take a taste and liked it…coming to the conclusion that soup wasn’t any good, but chowder was great! Imagine how pleased I was to get all those vegetables in him!
There are several steps to Wild Rice and Smoked Turkey Chowder, but this is fairly easy, most of the vegetables only need a rough chop. This takes about an hour and 10 minutes, start to finish. If I remember right, I think I adapted this from Fine Cooking one year.
If you’ve noticed the jalapeno, I want to comment that this soup isn’t hot, but it does have a little sumpin, sumpin that keeps you coming back for more - just omit if you’re unsure of the heat.
Because of the low cost, there is certainly money left over for a crunchy baguette! (By the way, check through Money and Time saving ingredients – you may be able to use more of your Thanksgiving leftovers than just your turkey!)
Recipe: Wild Rice and Smoked Turkey Chowder, serves 6, Cost $3.83
- 2 parsnips, peeled & roughly chopped
1 large russet potato
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 small jalapenos, seeded and chopped
4 cups chicken broth, or turkey broth
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper, or assorted colors
1 small sweet potato, finely diced, about 3/4 cup – keep a smidge out for garnish. (This, to us, has a strong taste in the soup, and we add less.)
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
3/4 cup corn
salt and pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice, save a bit for garnish
1 cup smoked turkey breast, or smoked chicken
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Start your wild rice, unless it’s already precooked - it will take an hour start to finish. (To cook wild rice, use 2x the water as the rice. Bring the water to a boil, add rice, bring back up to a boil. Lid, and turn down to a simmer. Cook about 45 – 55 minutes.) I like to add a few things to my rice, but this isn’t really necessary: An onion cut in half, chicken base (or cook in broth,) salt and if I have them around, a few dried mushrooms. There should be a good chew to the wild rice, and very few should have broken open and curled up. You may have to strain excess liquid.)
Put parsnips though jalapeno in a pot and simmer 30 minutes till tender, then puree. If it’s very fibrous,strain, but I’ve never run into this problem. I imagine you might find this with very large parsnips, and if that’s the case, just chop them finer before putting them in the pot.
While you’re cooking the above, heat butter and saute celery, peppers, sweet potato and corn, about 10 minutes a side. You’ll want them soft and slightly browned in spots. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the soup base into a clean pot, add milk and bring to a simmer. Add the rest of ingredients and simmer a few minutes to blend flavors.
I garnish with a small bit of the wild rice and red pepper.
- There have been times when I’ve smoked my turkey or chicken for this Smoked Turkey & Wild Rice Chowder, and times I’ve used leftover smoked turkey or chicken, and it lends a wonderful flavor.
- I’ve also gone to the the deli and asked them to cut me a slice about a 1/2 inch thick, then diced it and used it. Make sure it’s on sale – deli meat is pricey.
- There have been many times, also, I’ve made it with regular turkey or chicken and added just two or three drops of liquid smoke (an all natural ingredient.) I do really like to keep it on hand for recipes like this or for recipes like bean soups when I’m not smoking or buying smoked meat for them.
- Believe me, though, it really is going to be just fine with plain turkey, too!
Money and Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
First of all, this soup freezes beautifully. I always double and freeze half for another time. The sautéed corn, sweet potato, celery and pepper actually make a gorgeous side dish. Sometimes I’ll double that and freeze some of it, with or without the addition of wild rice.
- Wild Rice: Look for it on sale around Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you don’t live “up North” have relatives bring you some – the price difference is amazing in different parts of the country, although it’s more widely available in the past few years with the advent of commercial wild rice. I’ll cook up the whole box or bag at once, then ziplock and freeze. It’s real easy to make my own rice blends, add to vegetables, waffles, bread, etc. It keeps nearly forever in your pantry, too, so don’t be afraid to pick up a larger bag if it’s on sale. Cost $1.40
- (You’ll also find different grades of wild rice: the perfect whole grains are more expensive, and quite elegant, but don’t have any more flavor than the lesser grades that perhaps have some broken grains.) If perfect isn’t your goal, get the cheaper stuff! By the way, often when you cook wild rice, there is leftover liquid. I save this (especially if I’ve made it as described above) and use it when I make a deep, earthy soup like Beef Barley, I’ll add it as part of the stock. I usually end up with about a cup or two – I reduce it down to 1/2 cup and label and freeze – with a note saying how much water is needed to bring it back to the original amount.
- If you have leftover wild rice or wild rice casserole it may go great in this dish.
- Smoked Turkey: See my notes in the recipe – I’ll be using just plain old leftover turkey in this recipe. Not sure how to calculate that cost, so I’ll guess 20 cents.
- Parsnips: They add a bit of a sharp bite, and really are dirt cheap, like most of the root vegetables. I wouldn’t leave them out for the world. Cost: 40 cents. If you haven’t cooked with parsnips, this is a great “starter” recipe.
- Potato: 78 cents a pound for 5 pounds. A medium potato runs about 5 ounces, and I’ll use two of those: Cost: 10 cents. You could substitute leftover mashed potatoes in here. You could also save some out before you make your mashed potatoes, just for this recipe.
- Onion: On sale 33 cents a pound, cost 10 cents.
- Garlic: On sale 59 cents a head, cost 6 cents
- Jalapeno: They can very widely in price per pound. Luckily they’re small – cost 48 cents.
- Chicken Broth: I make my own out of vegetable peelings and bones: Cost: Free
- Butter: 2 tablespoons # 2.49 per pound is 18 cents.
- Red Bell Pepper: 1/2 diced is about 1/2 of one, I last bought at 78 cents each and put in Ziploc bags in the freezer. cost 40 cents. Your cost will be higher unless you see them on sale. If you’re making a dish with bell pepper, save a little out of the ingredients for this soup.
- Sweet potato: Seasonal now in the fall, they drop in price drastically before Thanksgiving. I bought at 69 cents a pound, used about 1/2 cup, so the cost for this recipe is 35 cents. If you have leftover sweet potato, you could add it instead – if it’s not too soft, go ahead and saute it for the nice char. Maybe if you’re making a sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, you’ll just want to set aside a bit of sweet potato for this dish.
- Celery: On sale, a dollar a pound, cost 5 cents
- Corn – Buy on sale with a coupon – mine was free but 30 cents a pound is not unreasonable. Cost 0. Again, leftover will be just fine if you have it.
- Milk – I always try to pick up on special with cereals or those times they are on sale, and per my pledge, am using skim as much as possible. The downside: sometimes I have three or four gallons stashed in my fridge, sometimes we’re getting low waiting for grocery day. We use about a gallon per week per person, including what we cook with. A little over the guidelines, but we’re trying to cut back. Last bought $1.98, so cost is 6 cents.
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste – last bought at $.79 cents, I’m still using my free bottle: Cost 0.
Nutrition: This is just chock full of vitamins, calcium, antioxidents and fiber – it’s hard to find a better meal.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 303 Calories; 9g Fat (25.9% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 40mg Cholesterol; 606mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat.
Put Your own Spin on It:
- Try serving this with a crusty baguette on the side, or if you’re a baker, wild rice parmesan breadsticks would be fantastic.
- A swirl of balsamic on the top would be interesting.
- You could certainly vary any vegetables you’d like – it you’ve never tried parsnips, this is a great way to introduce them.
When I double this soup and the vegetables, I get two soups, one for the freezer and one to eat. If you’ve cooked the whole bag of wild rice, don’t forget the precooked wild rice packets as well as the lovely broth it leaves behind (about 2 cups or so – reduced down to about 1/2 cup so it fits in the freezer.) And if you doubled your sweet corn, sweet potato, pepper and celery portion of the ingredients, you’ll have several sides to put in the freezer!
The best payoff? This dish is incredibly healthy!
One hour and ten of cooking,- (Which I was doing, anyway) 2 meals, 2 sides, several packets of wild rice and a bit of that incredible broth, all ready to put away in fridge and freezer:
Wild Rice and Smoked Turkey Chowder made November, 2011