Turkey quinoa pumpkin soup is a nourishing cold weather soup making use of your leftover turkey. This delicious and cozy soup has a healing bone broth base. I will also show you how to prepare quinoa for better digestion.
Last week, I shared my leftover turkey carcass broth recipe, after the Canadian Thanksgiving. It is one of the simplest broth you can make to drink as your bone broth or use as a stock. This week I want to continue this topic and share with you this turkey quinoa pumpkin soup I made with the turkey carcass broth.
Turkey Broth as Soup Base
A good home-made broth is the base of many great dishes. As you will see in the recipe section, the ingredients to make this turkey quinoa pumpkin soup are simple, but the soup is nonetheless delicious. Besides all the gut-healing and immune-boosting health benefits, a good home-made broth provides incomparable flavours by store-bought broth that comes in a carton. I trimmed off the meats from the turkey carcass to use in this soup, while the bones are simmered into the turkey carcass broth used as the soup base.
Roasting fresh pumpkin
The pumpkins are pre-roasted in the oven before added into the soup. That’s not to say you can’t use a can of pumpkin puree. However, roasting pumpkins is easy to do, and fresh. The leftover roasted pumpkins can be stored in the freezer and used as pumpkin puree for other recipes in the future.
Don’t omit the pumpkin seeds. Spread the pumpkin seeds seperately on a baking sheet and roast along with the pumpkin flesh. Take care to remove the seeds sooner from the oven once done, as the seeds take much less time to cook. This step of roasting pumpkin seeds isn’t necessary for the turkey quinoa pumpkin soup recipe. Just thought to mention, since we are already cooking the pumpkin flesh and turning the oven on, why waste the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in many minerals, such as magnesium and zinc, as well as healthy fats (plant-based omega-3).
Preparing quinoa for better digestion
A few years ago a good friend of mine told me that she had to avoid quinoa, because she would have terrible stomach aches after eating them. Although I have never experienced quinoa intolerance myself, it is a common problem for many, usually caused by the saponin and phytic acid in quinoa, or often they are referred to as anti-nutrients. As the name suggests, anti-nutrients prevent you from absorbing nutrients in foods, in addition to causing digestive issues.
Don’t get me wrong, quinoa is a nutritious ancient grain, that’s why it’s worthy of the efforts to prepare the quinoa correctly to minimize the potential irritations to the digestive system than to avoid it all together! This is a common practice by people who follow traditional cooking methods and here is how:
- Make sure to rinse quinoa in hard running water for a few minutes, to wash off the saponin that’s coating the quinoa.
- Soaking the quinoa (and all other grains and seeds before cooking) will break down most of the phytic acid (further cooking will get rid of more), making more minerals and nutrients available for absorption. To soak the quinoa, simply place rinsed quinoa in warm water with a splash of acid medium of your choice (eg. apple cider vinegar, whey, lemon juice, kombucha, etc.) for 8 to 12 hours. You will use roughly 1 tbsp acid per cup of water.
By reducing and removing saponin and phytic acid, quinoa is made more digestible and nutritious. I have definitely heard success stories resolving quinoa intolerance with this rinsing and soaking method. However, no two people are the same, I encourage you to test out to see if it works for you. And if you tried, be sure to share your results in the comment below to help others.
The soaking method should be extended to preparing all other seeds, grains and legumes. Sprouting them is another recommended method to reduce anti-nutrients, and improve digestibility. I don’t feel taking days to sprout quinoa is necessary for this turkey quinoa pumpkin soup. But if you are interested in sprouting grains and seeds in general, you can find the method here.
Turkey Quinoa Pumpkin Soup
- 1/2 cup quinoa (see notes below for rinsing and soaking quinoa)
- 8 cup home-made turkey or chicken carcass broth
- 3 cup roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree (see notes below for how to roast pumpkins)
- 3 cup cooked and diced turkey
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- Simmer pre-rinsed and soaked quinoa in 8 cups of home-made turkey carcass broth or chicken broth for 15 minutes. See recipe notes below for rinsing and soaking quinoa.
- Stir in 3 cups of roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree, 3 cups of diced leftover roasted turkey. Season the soup with salt, paprika and ground black pepper to taste, and simmer for another 25 minutes. See recipe notes below for how to roast pumpkins.
- To prepare quinoa for better digestion: Make sure to rinse quinoa in hard running water for a few minutes, to wash off the saponin that’s coating the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa in warm water, with 1 tbsp acid medium of your choice (eg. apple cider vinegar, whey, lemon juice, kombucha, etc.) per cup of water for 8 to 12 hours, to reduce phytic acid. See "preparing quinoa for better digestion" section for more details.
- To roast the pumpkins: Cut a pie pumpkin into 8 small wedges, more if the pumpkin is bigger. Remove the seeds and arrange pumpkin wedges on a baking sheets. Roast in the oven at 375ºF for 50 minutes or until tender. You may roast the seeds on a separate baking sheet for less time.