Leftover turkey isn’t a problem when this Smoked Turkey-Lentil Soup recipe is tucked in the drawer. It’s perfect slow cooker comfort food.
Every night when Dudette’s pumpkin-hour hits, we all sit on her bed and have prayer time before tucking her in. It’s a time when we think of people who are hurting or sick, but it’s also a time when we talk to God about the things for which we are grateful.
We thank Him for good days at school, free cake Mondays at Dewey’s bakery, the sunshine, rain, family, food on the table, that we’re able to walk, talk and see; all things that we don’t want to ever take for granted. We want to make sure that Dudette understands that those things are gifts, gifts that some doesn’t have.
Maybe that’s why I’m not ready to let go of Thanksgiving just yet. My Christmas decorations are still tucked away in storage and there’s no tree standing in the corner.
Other than the insane overeating, Thanksgiving is all about good things. The word itself proclaims an attitude of giving and thankfulness. We gather together and sit around a table, breaking bread, sharing company and community.
No, I’m not ready to leave the warm glow of the Thanksgiving table for the harsh lights of the crowded department stores, the cheap commercialization of the most important birthday in the history of the world, or the endless stream of songs like ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ just yet. I’m going to wait until the calendar turns to December.
And until there is no turkey left in the refrigerator.
This recipes comes from MyRecipes.com’s ‘America’s Favorite Foods’ cookbook and was originally published in Cooking Light’s ‘Fresh Food Fast’ cookbook.
Because it’s made in the slow cooker, there’s not much to tell you about prep. It’s a simple matter of dumping everything in the insert and turning it on.
However, I will tell you that one of the things I like about the cookbook is the suggestions that are included with the recipes. While this may not seem necessary for those who are able to adapt a recipe on the fly, it’s great for those who want a little nudge in the right direction.
We didn’t smoke our Thanksgiving turkey so I substituted a regular roasted turkey leg in place of the smoked version. I did use vegetable broth, but opted to make my own instead of buying it. It’s a simple process and you can find my recipe by clicking this link: Vegetable Stock.
I also didn’t have a bag of pre-chopped celery, onion and bell peppers since I’m perfectly capable of chopping that stuff myself, so I did just that; chopped the three vegetables myself.
I was cringing a little as I ladled the soup into the bowls. I love lentil anything, but I know Hubby is iffy on the little legumes. Dudette; well, Dudette is Dudette. Any number of factors can turn her favor in one direction or the other.
In this case, however, there was lentil love all over. The soup was a huge hit and once again, my family of three proved that serving sizes are relative. We took a soup meant for eight people and barely fed three with it. It’s delicious.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
We all added salt to our bowls so I’ll go ahead and add in a teaspoon or so to the pot next time I make this. I’ll probably also add some hot sauce just before serving to give it a kick and will use skinless chicken thighs since turkey won’t be on the table again for a while.
- 1 (8-ounce) smoked turkey leg
- 6 cups organic vegetable broth
- ½ pound dried lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 (8-ounce) container refrigerated prechopped celery, onion, and bell pepper mix
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Plain fat-free Greek yogurt (optional)
- Oregano sprigs (optional)
- Place first 6 ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until lentils are tender and turkey falls off the bone.
- Remove turkey leg from cooker. Remove and discard skin. Shred meat; return to cooker, discarding bone. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with yogurt and oregano sprigs, if desired.