Make-Ahead: Turkey, Rice & Pea Soup

I am a firm believer in planning ahead and still leaving a window of opportunity open for spontaneity. There are many nights where I just have to scratch my head and plow through the exhaustion of the day to determine what is happening for dinner. I see all the Pinterest boards out there where people plan out and prepare their entire week’s worth of meals and freeze them for later. It is admirable. I am just not there yet.

Every once and awhile I impress myself.

When cooking rice I will make extra and freeze one-cup portion sizes in Ziploc bags and store them in the freezer. Frozen or fresh vegetables will follow the same storage pattern whenever it is getting close to that critical “hurry up it will waste” moment. Roasting turkey or whole chicken is another opportune time portion and freeze for later.

In fact, one of the easiest things you can do is throw a whole chicken in a slow cooker, have dinner and then remove the meat and freeze for later. The leftover carcass goes back in the slow cooker with water overnight and in the morning you have chicken broth. It can be used for the evening’s meal or, you guessed it, it goes into a storage container and to the freezer for a later date.

make ahead soup - frozenThis recipe is called make-head because the basic ingredients can all come from leftovers from previous meal prep. Plan ahead to gather all of the ingredients to make this quick and easy meal for dinner and freeze the ingredients to save for a rainy (or exhausted) day. 

MAKE-AHEAD TURKEY, RICE, AND PEA SOUP

Prep: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chicken broth + 3 cups
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen brown rice, thawed
  • 1 cup precooked turkey or chicken slices, white or dark meat
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat pot on medium-high and add onions, butter and ½ cup chicken broth and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Set aside peas, rice and turkey slices. If you have frozen chicken slices, by all means use it!
  3. Once onions are cooked down, add cumin, pepper, and minced garlic and stir.
  4. Add peas, rice, and turkey to put and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
  5. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Add cream cheese and stir.
  7. Turn off heat and serve.