Soup with Gut-Healing Benefits

Turkey and Vegetable Soup calls for “riced” cauliflower, which just means finely grated until the cauliflower is in pieces basically the size of rice. It gives the soup a nice hearty texture—a great trick for any vegetable-based soup that needs to be a little more filling. And many grocery stores sell it already packaged in the produce section so you don’t have to spend time ricing it yourself.


Depending on what vegetables you have lying around, this dish can absorb almost anything. Throw in whatever’s in the fridge, and if it starts getting too dense, well, just add more stock! And you know how I always sing the praises of homemade stock (which can be done in a pressure cooker for fast gratification.) Our last batch came compliments of a huge turkey carcass (with quite a bit of meat left on it) from our good friends Rosanne and Gary. Thanks guys!

They removed it from their freezer where it had been residing since Thanksgiving. Several weeks later we were the lucky recipients and we threw it into our freezer until such time it was convenient to make the stock—which happened to be in early January. And a week after that, Russ got around to making the soup. If you don’t have access to an entire carcass, get some bony turkey parts: necks, backs, and/or wings. You can usually ask a butcher to save them for you, or try purchasing them at a local Asian market.

Homemade turkey stock adds flavor—and other good stuff—to the broth, and also ekes every last bit of flavor out of the bird bones. The gut-healing benefits of the stock also make this one a great option if your holiday feasting was a little bit hard on your digestion. Cooking the vegetables provides most of the nutrients in a form that’s easier on the stomach, and soup in general is a nice light meal to follow up a day of impressive eating—and makes for great workday lunches too!


Soup Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped;
  • 1 onion, diced;
  • 3 to 4 carrots, diced;
  • 2 parsnips, diced;
  • 2 celery stalks, diced;
  • 1 cup cauliflower, riced;
  • 1 ½ cups cabbage, shredded;
  • 2 bay leaves;
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced;
  • 2 tsp. ground sage;
  • 1 tsp. thyme;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
  • Turkey stock

Stock Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass or 5 lbs. turkey parts (preferably bony parts, like necks and backs);
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered;
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into big chunks;
  • 2 carrots, cut into big chunks;
  • 4 garlic cloves;
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme;
  • 1 bay leave;
  • 4 quarts cold water;
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Place the turkey carcass or parts in a saucepan, add all the remaining ingredients for the stock, and season to taste with pepper.
  2. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to a light simmer, and simmer 4 to 8 hours. (adding water if necessary).
  4. Strain the stock with a fine mesh sieve, throwing away all the remaining ingredients. Set aside the stock for now.
  5. Pick through the carcass. Remove any meat you find, and add it to the meat for the soup.
  6. Add all the ingredients for the soup in a large saucepan. Fill the pan with the turkey stock, and season to taste.
  7. Bring to a simmer, and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Recipe adapted from


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