Coconut Curry Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

We’ve had a very peaceful Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago – 4 days at home was just the balm I needed to catch up on sleep, de-stress, cook and relax. We celebrated the holiday with my aunt, uncle, cousins in the suburbs…and then the rest of the weekend was pretty low key. Sleeping late (which for me, is anything after 6am), naps, an afternoon cocktail, and lots of time puttering in the kitchen.

After every Thanksgiving feast, there are the leftovers. By the third day after the turkey is carved, I become weary of sliced turkey, gravy and all the trimmings that linger in the fridge. But the bits of turkey remain, begging to be used and not wasted. So this morning, I pulled the turkey carcass from the bird I roasted for my team at work last week out of the freezer and set about making a big pot of turkey stock. Once made, strained, chilled and de-fatted – it was time for the main attraction – soup.

I love the comfort in a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup. Today I decided to leave the traditional flavors of the holiday behind, and spice it up with an Indian flare…and I am glad I did. The soup has some heft to it, as a good turkey and wild rice soup should, and just enough curry for the spice to linger on the tongue, cooled by a splash of coconut milk. Like most of my soups, this is a great way to clean out odds and ends of vegetables lingering in the crisper, so use whatever you have on hand.

Coconut Curry Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 6-8

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled & diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, leaves sliced into bite sized pieces. Stems reserved and diced.
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 small red potatoes, cut into ½” cubes, totaling 1 ½ cups of potatoes
1 tsp brown mustard seed
1 tsp hot curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 ½ T madras (mild) curry powder
⅔ cup wild rice
6 cups turkey  or chicken stock
½ can coconut milk
2 cups diced roast turkey (or chicken)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp white wine vinegar

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and brown mustard seeds. Stir the seeds around in the oil for about 1 minute, until the seeds release their fragrance.
  2. Scoop onion, carrots, celery and diced chard stems into pot. Add a pinch of salt and stir to coat the veggies in oil. Saute for 7-10 minutes, until onions are softened, stirring every couple of minutes.
  3. Add the garam masala, curry powders, and garlic to the pot. Stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the wild rice, turkey (or chicken) stock, stir and cover. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and add the potatoes. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, over medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes.
  5. After 25 minutes, pour in the half can of coconut milk. Stir and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the wild rice is tender. Then add the turkey and chard leaves, and gently stir the leaves into the pot. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until the chard has wilted. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and stir in 1 tsp white wine vinegar to brighten the flavors a bit. Serve.

What’s your favorite way to re-invent the holiday leftovers? Share in the comments…


Thanksgiving Round-Up

Thanksgiving has once again snuck up on me. The beautiful, gentle Fall we’ve experienced in the Midwest has lulled me into thinking that winter was far away. Or maybe it was spending last week basking in the sunshine and walking in the surf with family and friends in Florida. So I’m slightly alarmed to wake-up this morning and realize that Turkey Day is a mere 4 days away, and we will be getting an 18+ pound turkey tomorrow, for which I have no specific plans. Yikes!

But don’t let my lack of holiday planning get you down. Below are a few of my holiday favorites, and be sure to check out Shauna’s amazing round up of gluten-free Thanksgiving dishes over at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef…some amazing bloggers have all chipped in their own gluten-free dishes to create a tasty holiday for us all.

And if this is your very first gluten-free Thanksgiving – congratulations! Take the holiday as an opportunity to give thanks for your diagnosis and explore how to make all the dishes you love, gluten-free. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday – and why not?! It’s about comfort food and family, no pressure, no gifts. If you’re attending a gluten-full Thanksgiving, don’t let yourself feel deprived – make one side dish of your own that you adore and a gluten-free dessert, and enjoy the holiday meal.

I’ll be cooking a turkey at some point this week. Gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries and dessert will definitely be on the table. Join me in giving thanks for a healthy gluten-free life.

Watching pellicans gracelessly careen into the water and gulp fish is one of my favorite Florida activities.

What are your holiday favorites? What gluten-free dishes are you going to serve at your table? If you’re newly gluten-free, let me know if you have questions, I’m happy to help. Share it all in the comments below…

Savory Sweet Potato Crisp

Cranberries with Bourbon

Celery Root and Apple Slaw

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Pecans

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Meringue

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-Free Girl’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Round Up

Warm sunshine and surf…I miss them already.