This great way to use up leftovers is my take of the classic chicken noodle soup and has been morphing over the years. It all started back in my Cambridge apartment during my grad school days in Boston. One of my roommates made a great rosemary chicken soup recipe and I just began to mess around with the spices, added in the quinoa and spinach and I’ve been making it regularly ever since.
The quinoa gives it nutty flavour and is a much healthier alternative to the tradition noodle and tastier than the other option of rice. It also adds a bit of extra protein in case you don’t have much meat leftover and need to bulk it up a bit. This recipe is very forgiving and easy to improvise.
Usually I make it with leftover chicken from a sunday roast dinner, but when you have a big slow cooker full of turkey bones simmering away and a bunch of leftover turkey tucked away in your fridge this soup had to made. It’s the perfect way to use up some Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner leftovers. I hate to see food go to waste, so I always try to find ways to use up every last bit. It also is a very cheap meal since it’s mostly food you have already used in a previous meal. In the recipe I say to add 2 1/2 cups chopped turkey, but really you could add more or less depending on what you have on hand.
The turkey soup is chock full of flavour and loads of vegetables–celery, carrots, onion and spinach. Because the soup’s base is bone broth is great for healing gut problems and boosting your immune system. If you want to know how I make my bone broth or why you should be making it if you don’t already, check out my post about it here.
One secret to soup making I’ve learned over the years that adds great rich flavour is to make sure you sauté the vegetables before adding the broth. It gives them a chance to caramalize a bit and really deepen the flavour.
Spinach & Quinoa Turkey Soup
5 cups chicken or turkey bone broth
2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, halved and sliced
1 bunch of celery, diced (leaves included)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons herb de Provence
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, diced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
8 cups spinach
- Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and spices in the oil/butter on low heat for about 15 minutes until the onions become translucent and other vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the meat and let cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once its boiling turn down the heat and let it simmer for about an hour or so with a lid on. Check on it every 20 minutes or so to make sure it’s not boiling and just gently simmering.
- Add the rinsed uncooked quinoa and continue simmering with the lid on until the quinoa has opened up revealing a spiral like inside.
- Finally, add the spinach and let it wilt into the soup, gently folding it into the soup and it’s ready to eat.
It’s a simple recipe with simple flavours that will please even those in your family you are still trying to get on board with healthy eating.
What is your favorite take on the traditional chicken or turkey noddle soup?