Leftover turkey simmered in the flavors of Greek cooking for a traditional Greek Turkey Avgolemono Soup, from an American Thanksgiving meal.
Hearty Healthy Turkey Soup
Nothing incorporates healthy veggies and herbs, nutritional bone broth and comfort food, better than soup.
For some reason it seems odd to eat soup in summer, unless it is a Greek Cold Cucumber Soup, just as it is not as welcoming a thought to eat salad in the cold of winter, unless it is an Winter Root Salad.
Just the way I’m wired, I guess.
Homemade broth is also the perfect solution to that heap of bones left over from Thanksgiving turkey.
You’d be surprised how much tender meat falls off the bones when boiled, meat we often miss when slicing.
While soup is a hearty go-to in the winter here in America, let’s borrow the flavors of traditional Greek cooking.
A favorite sauce or soup broth, with the addition of egg, lemon, and oregano, known as Avgolemono, make this a memorable turkey soup!
Greeks have a way of imparting so much flavor in the simplest of dishes, simply by bringing lots of lemon, garlic and oregano into the sauce, broth or rub.
If you’ve already boiled the bones of your leftover turkey, simply sauté onions, celery, fresh dill or oregano in a little olive oil along with some lemon zest.
Add that to your broth and the base is done.
Avgolemono will get made just before the soup is finished simmering and the egg-lemon sauce will bring a Greek ‘opa’ to your turkey soup.
What Is Avgolemono?
Avgolemono is a sauce, unlike any other, that imparts a creamy texture and appearance to sauces and broth, yet without dairy.
Whole eggs, or egg yolks (for a deeper creamy texture), are whisked with lots of lemon juice.
Hot broth is slowly added to the egg-lemon mixture, bringing the egg up to temperature slowly, then added to the sauce and simmered on low.
This sauce is known most often as a Greek sauce (maybe because there are so many Greek restaurants in America), but it is just as widely made in Middle Eastern, Turkish and some Jewish cuisines as well.
Turkey Soup In Winter
What’s the first soup that comes to mind when thinking about a winter soup, turkey? I know that is my first thought.
Maybe because I associate whole turkey cooking, or at least turkey parts with the holidays celebrated in November and December.
If you are anything like me, you have a huge stash of turkey broth in your freezer by January and plan on making soup for the remainder of winter.
While turkey meat, particularly the gelatin that is formed from boiling the bones, is loaded with protein and the amino acid tryptophan, it also contains zinc which is exactly what we need during cold and flu season.
How To Make Greek Turkey Avgolemono Soup
Assuming you have a nice stash of broth in the freezer or leftover turkey bones ready to boil, you have stock ready for making this soup. Get the broth hot.
Steam a little rice, black, brown or white, and have the rice ready to add to your soup.
Chop mushrooms or any other veggies you prefer in the soup. You may also have lots of leftover veggies from Day-After Thanksgiving, to toss into this soup.
The rest is fast and easy. Into a pot of simmering broth goes the veggies, already cooked turkey pieces, and a bundle of herbs.
In a bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice until frothy.
Gently ladle in a little hot broth to the egg-lemon mix, while whisking.
Several ladles of hot broth, slowly whisked into the egg mixture, will temper the eggs so they won’t scramble when added to broth.
Add to the broth and simmer (not boil), for just a few minutes and the soup is ready in under 30-minutes.
- Turkey broth
- Cooked rice
- Cooked turkey
- Raw spinach
- Lemon juice
- Fresh oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Soup pot with a lid – this 8 quart pot is my favorite because it is not too large or too small and is stainless steel.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Garlic press
- Citrus press – best way to get every last drop of juice.
- Small sauce pan
- Stovetop or burner
More Greek Flavors To Love
The similarities between Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine are deliciously apparent throughout many regions of the Mediterranean.
Here in America, you will often find of fusion of these cultures, particularly with the Eastern Orthodox conext; which is what I grew up surrounded by.
The music, dances, traditions and foods were often similar.
And so I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite Greek flavors:
- Greek Spanakopita Burger – with lean ground beef or lamb, spinach and feta makes for the best burgers, especially on a homemade bun!
- Greek Cucumber Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce – a refreshing, versatile use of yogurt, cucumber, fresh herbs and garlic you will ever taste!
- Mediterranean Baklawa and Greek Baklava – layers of phyllo pastry with nuts and honey are as richly steeped in history as they are honey.
- Greek Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps – is everyone’s favorite Greek salad, with herb simmered chicken chunks, served in a lettuce wrap.
- Healthier Spanakopita – made with olive oil, instead of butter, makes this fresh spinach, lemon and feta phyllo pastry, healthier.
GREEK Turkey Avgolemono Soup
- Large Soup Pot
- Medium mixing bowl and whisk
- 3 cups Turkey broth – 3 cups, preferably homemade homemade
- 2 cups Cooked rice black, brown or white
- 2-3 cups Cooked turkey cubed
- 2 cups Mushrooms rough chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves crushed
- 1 lb Raw spinach or kale
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Fresh oregano bundle or 2 tbsp dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the broth to a simmer in a large soup pot, about 20-minutes.
- Add garlic, oregano bundle and mushrooms, and simmer just until mushrooms are soft.
- Add cooked rice, cooked turkey and taste for salt and pepper.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice until frothy.
- Gently ladle in a little hot broth, while whisking. Two or three ladles of hot broth should temper the eggs.
- Slowly add the egg mixture to the soup, while stirring. Simmer (not boil), for five minutes.
- Remove oregano bundle and serves.