The Organized Turkey!

Okay, I’ve been working more on being organized because I got a good start when I froze leftover turkey from the holiday, in approximately one-pound packages.

I hope you did not throw yours out or force your family to eat turkey until it was coming out of their ears!

Anyway, I’ve had three pounds of frozen turkey to look at in the freezer and have been dreaming until I just could not STAND it anymore!

So I made turkey minestrone. Sort of. Except I am not sure what that is and I did not have eggs to make noodles with (after making two cakes in a row. Well, really four, if you count mistakes…)

Anyway, the more I thought about turkey minestrone, the better it smelled, in my imagination. Nothing like it to get the cooking juices flowing!

Turkey Minestrone

So, here is the final product, in all its glory, followed by a recipe, of sorts, because I actually just dumped whatever sounded good, and I truly don’t know what minestrone IS! 🙂

I am sure if you think and add what you like in a soup, yours will be just as yum as mine!

Turkey Minestrone

4 Tbsp. bacon grease or olive oil
2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. onion, chopped small
1 c. celery, chopped
1 c. carrot, sliced
1/2 c. chopped parsley
Any or all of the following, to taste: rosemary, oregano, sage, lemon grass, basil.
1 jalapeno pepper and brewing bag for easy removal
1 clove garlic, pressed (or more!)
2-3 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 gal. filtered water
1-2 lb. of frozen turkey, cut bite-sized
1 can cut green beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 c. raw brown rice

In a large, non-stick pan, fry all raw vegetables and herbs until caramelized, on medium-high heat, stirring often and watching carefully. Take care not to break the pepper. Vegetables should be browned, some, and somewhat soft. Pan drippings should be a golden-rosy brown.

Retrieve the pepper and place inside bag. Set aside.

Pour some of the water into the hot pan to loosen all the drippings and create a rich broth. Pour entire contents of pan into a large stock pot (12 quart or more). Scrape pan well, to get all the goodie.

Add the rest of the ingredients, including bagged pepper, and bring to boil. Simmer, stirring constantly, for at least an hour. Enjoy with cornbread, sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

Perfect for a cold day! Mmm!

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

17 thoughts on “The Organized Turkey!

  1. Hmm yum! And slice and cube an avocado over the top of each bowl! Thanks for the recipe. Got no turkey but chicken will do just as well in this cold weather.


  2. I do the same thing with the dark meat of our giant turkey, since no one likes to eat it plain. It’s perfect for turkey and wild rice soup, and turkey pot pie.

    1. Haha! We love it, too, but one of us does not enjoy the same food repeatedly, no matter how beloved. So I adapt.

      WELCOME to Home’s Cool! And thanks for this kind comment, Georgeanne!

      We buy the hugest turkey I can find but also feed 20 people on it, plus a small ham. So you can see the chances for leftovers abound. 🙂

  3. My daughter just walked by and said it looked pretty yummy. Perhaps we can give it a try sometime. I don’t know what minestrone is either. 🙂

    1. Well, Tiff, feeling bad about not knowing, which is totally out of character for me, I have googled it, and learned: It is Italian for veggie soup. No kidding. Whatever you want to throw in, just go for it. It can be vegetarian, with meat broth, or with meat, thick like stew, or “brothy” [google’s word!] as mine is, above. It can have, and usually has, pasta, but also can have rice. The official bean is not the cannellini that I have chosen, but the “borlotti” bean. Too bad…

      However, I got one essential correct, according to google: “Like many Italian dishes, minestrone was probably originally not a dish made for its own sake. In other words, one did not gather the ingredients of minestrone with the intention of making minestrone. The ingredients were pooled from ingredients for other dishes, often side dishes or contorni plus whatever was left over…” The word, itself, is derived from the word for “serve” or “minister”. In other words, “here it is, take it or leave it, it’s what we’re having for lunch.” 🙂

      It’s Italian for “musgo stew” which is made by scanning the fridge and saying, “This mus-go, this mus-go, and this mus-go,” and putting it all in a large pot, adding water, and voila!


      Happy cooking to your sweet little girl!

    1. WELCOME to Home’s Cool!, Kaylin! Glad you visited!

      About frozen leftover turkey: It was time, wasn’t it! 😉 Hope you had a great meal from it. Isn’t it wonderful having a freezer!

  4. I love having leftover turkey — actually sometimes I cook it just for the purpose of using it in recipes — there are so many ways to use it.

    1. And the price is SO right, at this time of year! We always buy a couple of them after December, when they are marked down, and almost always smoke ours. We love turkey, too, but just not 40 days in a row. Ha.

      Thanks for stopping by Debbie! Now I’m off to catch a turkey.

      On sale, of course! 😉

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