It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m betting you have a fridge full of leftovers. Well, my dad kept all the leftovers at his house so I bought a little turkey to cook tomorrow specifically for the purpose of having turkey sandwiches and turkey soup. But I’m not going to make just any soup, mine is going to have a Latin flair. I’m loosely basing it off of a recipe for Tortilla Soup by Lourdes Castro. As a side note, I really recommend this book, (even though she isn’t Mexican, she’s Cuban. Oh well, everyone can’t be perfect )
Now, I know some of you indulged a little too much yesterday and are having to live in your stretchy pant today. It’s OK, this recipe is not creamy and heavy like some of the tortilla soups served in chain restaurants (blech!). This soup is light, brothy, smokey, de-licious and very healthy.
I know what some of you are thinking: “Carey made this so it must have 12 hot peppers in it.” Guess what? There are NO hot peppers in this recipe. You can make it spicy if you want to but the base is just tomato, onion & garlic and it so flavorful you won’t miss the punch of hot peppers.
So I just adapted the recipe to turkey, using my turkey carcass for homemade stock but you can use canned chicken stock too. Oh, and this base will freeze beautifully, just leave the “toppings” out until just before serving.
Turkey Tortilla Soup (adapted from Lourdes Castro’s Tortilla Soup)
2 large tomatoes
1 small white onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
6 cups of low sodium turkey broth (or chicken)
Leftover turkey, chopped into small pieces (roughly 2 cups)
Over medium high heat, heat up a dry cast iron skillet (or non-stick). Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the pan and allow to cook, getting black spots on all sides. When veggies are toasted and softened remove to a blender BUT allow to cool for a few minutes (don’t puree hot food, you’ll be sorry!). Pop the garlic out of it’s skin. Once cooled, puree veggies until all chunks are gone.
In a large soup pot heat up the oil over medium high heat. Add the veggie puree and watch out because it will sputter and splatter at you. Cook and stir the mixture until it darkens and reduces by almost half. If you need some spice in your soup, now would be a good time to add a pinch of chile powder. You can also add a scant pinch of salt and pepper but don’t go crazy with the salt because we will be reducing the soup again.
Add the broth and turkey, give it a stir then allow it to come up to a low boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes then test for seasoning. Add a pinch of salt if needed. That’s the base, now it’s time for the toppings.
shredded or crumbled cheese (preferably Mexican queso fresco but Monterrey Jack is a good option)
cilantro, roughly chopped
tortilla chips, roughly crumbled
avocado, thinly sliced
Serve the soup in warmed bowls and then top with the above toppings or anything else that suits your fancy!