Turkey Orzo Soup

Are you looking for a comforting and delicious meal that can be whipped up in just 30 minutes? Look no further than this delectable Turkey Orzo Soup recipe.

This dish combines flavorful turkey with tender orzo pasta and nourishing vegetables, creating the perfect bowl of comfort food that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

As the weather turns colder or you find yourself with leftover turkey from a holiday feast, this soup will quickly become your go-to recipe. The process is simple, and the result is a heartwarming meal with layers of rich flavor. Even better, it’s nutritious and filling enough to be served as a main course.

Give this Turkey Orzo Soup recipe a try, and embrace the cozy atmosphere it brings to your dinner table. Not only will it impress your guests, but it will also become a favorite that you’ll want to make again and again. Enjoy every spoonful, knowing that you’ve prepared a delicious and satisfying dish in just half an hour.

Ingredients and Substitutions

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Vegetables and Broth

For this Turkey Orzo Soup recipe, you’ll need some basic vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and onion to sauté in olive oil. Additionally, you’ll need chicken stock as the base for your soup. If you need to make a substitution, you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Proteins and Pasta

This recipe calls for leftover turkey or rotisserie chicken as your protein, but you can always use cooked sausage or any other leftover meats you have on hand. To add the pasta element, you’ll need orzo pasta. If you don’t have orzo, you can easily substitute it with ditalini or any other small pasta of your choice. You can use rice or even wild rice as alternatives to pasta if you prefer.

Herbs and Seasoning

A mixture of herbs and seasoning is essential for a flavorful soup. In this recipe, you’ll need garlic cloves, Italian seasoning (a blend of oregano, rosemary, and sage), kosher salt, and ground black pepper. If you don’t have Italian seasoning, you can use a combination of individual herbs or even fresh parsley or other fresh herbs. Don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon juice for some tanginess.

Caloric Information

This Turkey Orzo Soup is a fairly balanced meal, providing essential nutrients. Here’s a rough nutritional breakdown per serving:

  • Calories: 300
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 12g (Saturated Fat: 3g)
  • Carbohydrates: 30g (Fiber: 3g)
  • Cholesterol: 40mg
  • Sodium: 690mg

Possible Variations

Customize your Turkey Orzo Soup by adding different greens like spinach or kale. You can also use cornbread instead of pasta for a Southern twist. For a creamier texture, feel free to add a splash of heavy cream or a knob of butter when serving. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients and make it your own!

Preparation and Cooking Steps

Orzo Soup with Turkey and Spinach

Preparation Time

To begin with, gather all your ingredients necessary for your Turkey Orzo Soup, a perfect post-Thanksgiving dinner. The prep time should take around 15 minutes. Start by dicing your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, chopping your vegetables, and mincing the garlic. Set each aside in separate bowls.

Cooking Time

Now, it’s time to cook! Over medium heat, heat up a Dutch oven or a large soup pot and add the oil. Start by sautéing the minced garlic and onions, cooking for about 3 minutes until they turn translucent and fragrant. Next, add the celery, carrots, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Following this step, add the turkey, broth, and seasonings, bringing the soup to a simmer.

Once it’s simmering, mix in the orzo and let the soup continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. Make sure to keep the soup at a low simmer to prevent overcooking. Your total cook time should be around 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

To serve your Turkey Orzo Soup, ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Pair your dish with a side of warm, crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth. This recipe should yield about 6 servings, perfect for a family dinner.

If you plan on freezing the soup for later use, make sure to let it cool completely before storing it in airtight containers. Freezing it without the orzo is another option, allowing you to cook the pasta fresh when you’re ready to enjoy the soup again.

Enjoy your delicious Turkey Orzo Soup at any course during your post-Thanksgiving dinner or throughout the cold winter months!

Storing and Reheating

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Storing in the Refrigerator

To store Turkey Orzo Soup in the refrigerator, first, allow the soup to cool down to room temperature. After cooling, transfer the soup to an airtight container. It is important to use an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent any odors from other foods in the refrigerator from affecting the soup. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You may also want to share your stored soup with friends on Facebook or Pinterest to let them know how delicious it is!

Storing in the Freezer

If you would like to store the Turkey Orzo Soup for a longer period, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To do this, start by allowing the soup to cool down to room temperature. To minimize freezer burn, portion the soup into individual servings and place them in freezer bags. Make sure to squeeze out any excess air before sealing the bags. Label each bag with the contents and date of freezing.

When storing in a Dutch oven, place a layer of parchment paper or plastic wrap on the surface of the soup before placing the lid securely. This will help preserve the flavors and maintain the quality of the soup.

Reheating Guidelines

Reheating Turkey Orzo Soup is a simple process. Before reheating, thaw the soup for a few hours in the refrigerator if it was stored in the freezer.

To reheat on the stovetop, transfer the soup into a suitable pot or Dutch oven and warm it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature. It is essential not to bring the soup to a boil, as it can cause the orzo to become too soft.

Alternatively, you can reheat the soup using a microwave. Place it in a microwave-safe container and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring midway to ensure even heating.

By following these storage and reheating guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy your delicious Turkey Orzo Soup while maintaining its quality and taste!

Frequently Asked Questions

Turkey Orzo Soup - Made with Thanksgiving Leftovers

What are the main ingredients in a Turkey Orzo Soup?

The main ingredients in a Turkey Orzo Soup include cooked turkey, orzo pasta, chicken or turkey broth, vegetables (such as carrots, celery, and onions), and seasoning (such as salt, pepper, and herbs).

How long does it take to prepare and cook Turkey Orzo Soup?

It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to prepare the ingredients and 20-25 minutes to cook Turkey Orzo Soup, totaling about 35-45 minutes for the whole process.

Can ground turkey be used in Turkey Orzo Soup?

Yes, you can use ground turkey in Turkey Orzo Soup. Just brown the ground turkey in a skillet before adding it to the soup. Keep in mind that using ground turkey might alter the soup’s texture slightly.

What are some possible variations for Turkey Orzo Soup?

To vary your Turkey Orzo Soup, you can try adding different vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach. Seasoning changes, like using thyme instead of rosemary, can also give a new flavor profile. Additionally, you could use another pasta shape, like bow-ties or small shells, if orzo is unavailable.

How can I add more flavor to my Turkey Orzo Soup?

For an extra flavor boost in your Turkey Orzo Soup, consider adding fresh garlic or a splash of white wine. Another option is to use homemade broth or enhance store-bought broth with additional turkey bones or herbs. Finally, don’t forget to taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Can Turkey Orzo Soup be made vegetarian?

Indeed, Turkey Orzo Soup can be made vegetarian. To achieve this, simply replace the turkey with a veggie protein, such as chickpeas or tofu, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken or turkey broth.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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