There is nothing like all the preparation leading up to a holiday meal, or the memories created together with your loved ones that keep family traditions alive. Keeping traditions alive is very honoring to those who have gone before us. This turkey farro soup in our household is one of those traditions!
One tradition that I love is making my mother’s millionaire shortbread (also known as caramel squares) during Christmas time. It’s a recipe that will make its debut on Simply Sells very soon, as Christmas approaches. The millionaire shortbread is so absolutely delicious you can’t stop eating them. Before Christmas though comes Thanksgiving!
For Thanksgiving this year we want to share a recipe for what to do with your leftover turkey. I mean, there is nothing like loading up another plate of Thanksgiving food for round two, pouring on the gravy and buttering up those rolls that your grandmother made, but we figured let’s shake things up a little bit. We often enjoy this soup with our homemade Challah Bread that we make traditionally every Thanksgiving.
Did I mention that I am definitely a soup person? I could have it multiple times a week. Not only can soup be delicious but it can also be a great way to make sure that you are eating your vegetables. It’s also a great way to feed the little ones a variety of foods that prioritize nutrition.
Every year in November, when turkey goes on sale, Kodi and I have made it a tradition to buy a few small turkeys that we put in the deep freezer to cook throughout the year. This way we don’t have to wait another 12 months before we have a delicious roasted turkey meal. Every time we cook a turkey, we are always thinking of ways to extend the meal and creatively use all the leftovers. Sometimes we even cook extra turkey just for the leftovers. For quite a few years, we have turned our leftover turkey into a delicious turkey soup. This turkey farro soup became our ultimate after-Thanksgiving turkey meal!
We are sticklers for making meals with as much homemade flavor and healthy ingredients as possible. This turkey farro soup recipe is very simple and carries a lot of the familiar flavors you may be used to. Simple is good after a big holiday of very hard work.
Make your own stock
We begin by making our own turkey stock. If you’re in a rush you can just purchase a good quality store bought stock. To make your own stock, put all the leftover turkey bones, organs, and neck in a large stock pot, and then add 12-14 cups of water. Bring the liquid and turkey parts to a boil. Add in four carrots, four celery stalks, and one onion. (All chopped in very large pieces as you will strain and discard the ingredients at the end.) Then add one tablespoon of Italian seasoning, one tablespoon of salt, and pepper to taste.
Bring everything back to a rolling boil, and then turn the stock down to simmer for a minimum of 4-6 hours. For a deeper richer flavor, you can simmer it for up to 12 hours on low. When ready, strain the liquid through a sieve or cheese cloth and you will have the most delicious turkey stock.
After preparing the turkey stock, warm some olive oil over medium heat. I like to use my favorite large coated Dutch oven. While the olive oil is heating, chop the fresh carrots, celery, and onions into small even pieces. Throw the vegetables into the olive oil, and then sauté them until they are soft and starting to caramelize. There is tons of flavor in the browning on the bottom of the pan. Beware of burning because you don’t want your veggies to disintegrate.
Add the chopped garlic to the vegetables then sauté until the garlic is softened. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle some turkey stock into the pan to deglaze it and keep as much of the pan flavors as possible. Add thinly chopped dill, shredded or cubed cooked leftover turkey, and the rest of your freshly made turkey stock. Simmer the soup for at least 30 minutes.
Years back we discovered a grain called farro, which is like couscous or rice. It can be used in many ways. We find it gives this soup the perfect hearty “stay in” winter touch. Add the farro then cook the soup for an additional 10 minutes. Serve the soup with your favorite loaf of crusty, buttery, bread and enjoy!Print
Turkey Farro Soup
- Cook Time: 30-60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 bowls 1x
- 2 turkey breasts or dark meat (approx. 16–32 ounces)
- 12 cups turkey stock
- 4–5 large carrots
- 4–5 stalks of celery
- 2 medium onions
- 1/8 cup Olive oil
- 4–5 cloves of Garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup farro grain, (we use the 10-minute version)
- 2–3 sprigs fresh dill
For the stock:
- In a large stock pot, take all your left over turkey bones, organs, and neck and set to boil in about 12-14 cups of water.
- To the boiling water add four carrots and four celery stalks in chunks, and one onion chopped into large quarters. Add one tablespoon Italian seasoning and one tablespoon salt. Add pepper to taste.
- Bring to a rolling boil and turn down to simmer for 4-6 hours at a minimum. Stock can be simmer up to 12 hours for a deeper flavor.
- Strain and cool the liquid. You will now have the most delicious Turkey stock.
For the soup:
- Have your turkey stock warming on low on the stove in a large stock pot.
- Start by chopping the carrots, celery, and onions to small but even pieces.
- In a large stock pot add the olive oil. Sauté the chopped vegetables on medium high heat until soft. Then add chopped garlic until softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. (vegetables should be getting a light brown color)
- To the pot ladle 1-2 ladles of the turkey stock to deglaze the pan.
- Add the remaining stock. Then add the turkey breast (chopped or shredded). Add most of the chopped fresh dill leafs (set some aside for garnish). Make sure to discard the dill stems. Simmer the soup for at least 30-60 minutes on medium low heat.
- Add farro to the soup and cook for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Top soup with the rest of the fresh dill. Serve with your favorite bread and enjoy!
- Calories: 245 calories
- Sugar: 3 grams
- Sodium: 395 milligrams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Saturated Fat: 3 grams
- Carbohydrates: 13 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 20 grams