My Mother’s Garlic Soup with Turkey

By • November 25, 2009 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: While most mothers stuck with the more traditional variations of chicken noodle, my memories of sick days home from school include two very important remedies: garlic soup and The Price is Right. My mother’s original version contained no meat, but after Thanksgiving last year, she whipped up a batch using leftover roast turkey. And without any ail besides an unhealthy case of stomach expansion, I felt all the comfort of my days being doted on in front of the television come back, even without Bob Barker.PhoebeLapine

Serves 4

  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1 ½ quarts chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ½ tbsp rosemary or thyme, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup roast turkey, roughly torn or chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. With the back of your knife, crush the head of garlic so the cloves separate from the base. Add to the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic, and let rest on the cutting board until cool enough to touch. The skin will come off extremely easily.
  2. In a medium casserole or soup pot, bring the chicken stock and the garlic cooking water to a boil. Add the brown rice, garlic cloves, herbs, and a pinch of cayenne. Simmer over medium heat with the lid on for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Add the roast turkey and simmer for 5 more minutes. Take the soup off the heat.
  3. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg yolk. Slowly whisk in a ladle of the broth to temper it. Make sure to add a very small amount at a time as to not cook the egg. Once fully incorporated, add to the soup with the lemon juice. The egg yolk should give the soup a subtle, silky quality, while the lemon adds brightness to the rich, sweet aroma of boiled garlic.
Jump to Comments (8)

Tags: chicken, comfort food, garlic, Soups, turkey

Comments (8) Questions (0)


9 months ago ArcticBlade

An instant favorite for me, my wife and our 12 year old, but next time I'll use a little less lemon juice. An excellent way to use turkey leftovers.


10 months ago marcandanna

I'm wondering if I can make this the night before I serve it? Will the rice get too mushy? Sounds delicious!


almost 2 years ago rpepper

I love this soup and will make it often.


almost 4 years ago lapadia

Made this soup last night, an excellent way to use some of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey....delicious! Thanks for sharing it.


over 4 years ago pudu

Love this recipe!


almost 5 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

my this sounds delicious
like the garlic peeling method, new to me


almost 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

This is such a great recipe! I remember those days, home sick from school. My mother administered the chicken tortellini soup & Cosby Show re-run cure.


almost 5 years ago pauljoseph

Excellent recipe