Mother Earth Living

Seasonal Soups and Stews: Savory Turkey and Rice with Thyme, Sage, Winter Savory, and Bay

Chase away the winter blues with robust seasonings.
By Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay
December/January 2002
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We lovingly call dishes such as this a stoup—a cross between soup and stew.


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We lovingly call dishes such as this homemade turkey soup a stoup—a cross between soup and stew. SERVES 6

• 3 pounds turkey wings or other turkey pieces
• 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
• 3 ribs celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 3 to 4 bay leaves
• 4 to 6 sprigs (3 to 4 inches long) of sage, thyme, and winter savory (2 teaspoons each dried)
• Water to cover (6 to 8 cups)
• 1 cup uncooked rice (try short-grain brown rice for a change)
• 2 cups sliced raw carrots, 1/4 inch thick (or coarsely grated)
• 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen green peas, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, or spinach (optional)
• Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
• Freshly grated Parmesan, Romano, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese for garnish (optional)

1. Place the turkey wings, onion, celery, and herbs in a deep roasting pan or Dutch oven. Add water to completely cover the ingredients by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the meat is very tender, adding additional water to keep the liquid at about the same level.

2. With a slotted spoon and/or tongs, remove the turkey wings. Let the turkey cool until it can be handled. 

3. Remove the skin and bones, break the turkey meat into bite-size pieces, and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, add the rice, carrots, salt, pepper, and additional water as needed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until the rice is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes for white rice and 45 to 60 minutes for brown rice. 

5. Return the boned turkey to the mixture; add the green vegetables, if desired, to the pan, stirring carefully to combine. Heat thoroughly, stirring often. The mixture should be soupy but not too thin.

6. Add chopped parsley and serve with grated cheese, if desired.

Note: This is an excellent ending for a holiday turkey carcass. Simply cook it with liquid until falling apart, and remove the meat from the bones. Add leftover sliced turkey at the end of the cooking time, along with meat from the bones. For best quality if preparing for freezing, do not totally cook the rice and do not add green vegetables, parsley, or cheese until you’re preparing to serve it.


Click here for the main article, Seasonal Soups and Stews.

Madalene Hill and Gwen Barclay are a mother/daughter team living, gardening, and cooking at the Festival Institute in Round Top, Texas. Madalene serves as the curator of the gardens and Gwen is the director of Food Service. 








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