Holiday Timeout: Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Turkey soup

I posted this recipe last year between Christmas and New Year when I suffered a food hangover and needed a gastronomic time-out.  This soup was the perfect antidote:  simple, healthy and fortifying.  It handily uses the leftovers from a holiday turkey dinner, adding a satisfying economy to the pleasure of this meal. The broth is clean and light and packed with chunky vegetables.  Swiss chard is added at the end for extra depth.  During the ever-so-festive excesses of the holiday season, we all need a comforting and restorative dish like this in our repertoire.  Consider this recipe an early holiday gift from me to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Serves 4-6

Try using red Swiss chard – it adds a lovely red hue to the stock as it cooks.

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 (see below)
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 thickly shredded Swiss chard leaves
2 cups cooked turkey meat, in large chunks

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables brighten and begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add turkey stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, 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.

Easy turkey stock:

Bones from turkey carcass
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 celery stalks, cut in 1″ pieces
2 large carrots, cut in 1″ pieces
2 bay leaves
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 small handful parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Place all of the ingredients in a large stockpot.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer, partially covered, 2-3 hours, occasionally skimming any fat. Remove from heat.  Carefully drain in a colander placed over a large bowl or saucepan.  Strain again through a fine meshed sieve.  Cool.  Stock can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 6 months.

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