Holiday Timeout: Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Turkey soup

I am going to slip this recipe right in. Flanked by a Christmas Eve house party with lots of gløgg and hors d’oeuvres and a looming New Year’s black tie dinner, I made this simple, healthy and restorative soup the other day for a gastronomique time-out.

In addition to a Christmas Eve party spread of food, we roasted a turkey for our Christmas Day meal. It may sound redundant on the heels of Thanksgiving, but for Thanksgiving this year we were graced with airport and airline food as we were in transit home from a trip to New York City. While we missed the traditional holiday, it was refreshingly civilized at JFK; we enjoyed a smooth glitch-free day of travel courtesy of the Thanksgiving holiday. We comforted ourselves with the thought of saving our turkey binge for Christmas Day, instead.

So, back to the recipe:  I made this soup using the stock I made from our Christmas turkey, and filled it with vegetables left over from our party.  While the recipe calls for turkey stock and turkey meat, chicken can easily be substituted.  During the ever-so-festive-and-excessive holiday season, this homey soup is delicious, comforting and healthy.  I cannot think of a better gastronomic time-out.

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard
Serves 4-6

The chard adds heartiness to this flavorful soup.  Choose either red or green chard; you will find the red chard will add a deep red color to the stock.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, cut in thick slices
3 large carrots, sliced 1/2″ thick
4 celery stalks, sliced 1/2″ thick on the diagonal
8 cups turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups Swiss chard leaves, shredded
2 cups cooked turkey meat, in large chunks

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion, celery and carrots.  Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 minutes.  Add turkey stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a boil, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Swiss chard and turkey meat.  Simmer until chard is wilted.  Discard bay leaf.  Serve immediately.

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