Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup

After a delightful Thanksgiving feast, you might find yourself with an abundance of leftover turkey. Fear not, for we’ve got the perfect solution to transform those leftovers into a delicious and comforting meal – Turkey Tortilla Soup!

This recipe is not only a great way to use up that extra turkey, but it also adds an exciting twist to your usual post-Thanksgiving menu.

With its blend of flavorful spices and wholesome ingredients, this Turkey Tortilla Soup is an easy-to-make dish that’ll warm you up during those chilly fall days. The combination of savory turkey along with the fresh taste of vegetables creates a mouthwatering meal that your family will love. Plus, by repurposing leftovers, you’re also reducing food waste, which is an environmentally conscious move.

So, as you find yourself surrounded by leftover turkey this year, embrace the opportunity to whip up this scrumptious soup. This recipe not only promises to satisfy your taste buds, but will also help you create fun memories while you indulge in this delightful culinary creation.

Gathering Your Ingredients

Before you start cooking, it’s essential to gather all of the necessary ingredients for your Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup. This recipe is divided into three main components, each with its own set of ingredients: the main ingredients, the broth, and the toppings.

Main Ingredients

These are the star players of your soup. Make sure you have them ready before starting:

  • 2 cups cooked turkey, shredded or diced (great way to use leftover turkey!)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz), with juice
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

For the Broth

The broth is the foundation of your Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup. Make sure you have the following ingredients before moving on:

  • 6 cups turkey broth or chicken stock (or a mix if needed)
  • 1 can green chiles (4 oz), chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste

If you don’t have turkey broth or stock on hand, you can easily substitute chicken broth or stock. Both will provide a flavorful base for your soup.

For the Toppings

Toppings are essential to giving your Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup a burst of flavor and texture. Here’s a list of recommended toppings:

  • Lime wedges for squeezing over the soup
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped green onions
  • Salsa or hot sauce, depending on your desired spice level
  • Tortilla chips, crumbled or whole

Feel free to get creative and add other toppings based on your personal preferences, but these suggested toppings complement the flavors of the soup well. Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, you can start cooking your delicious Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup.

Cooking Process

Preparing the Broth

First, you’ll need to create a rich and flavorful base for your Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of canola oil or peanut oil over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Next, add your leftover turkey meat to the pot, along with any leftover turkey chili or shredded turkey you may have. Stir well to combine and cook for a few minutes to develop the flavors.

Now it’s time to add liquid to your soup. Pour in enough water to cover the turkey mixture by about 1 inch. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. This process will develop a rich and flavorful broth using your leftover turkey, while also breaking down any tough bits of meat.

Making the Soup

Once your broth has simmered and developed its flavors, it’s time to add more ingredients to transform it into a delicious and satisfying soup.

Here’s a list of ingredients to add to your pot:

  • 1 cup of cooked pasta (optional)
  • 2 cups of crushed tortilla chips
  • 3 cups of sliced corn tortillas

Stir the ingredients into the simmering broth, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the corn tortillas to become tender.

Adding the Toppings

The final step in the cooking process is to garnish your Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup with an array of flavorful and colorful toppings. Here are some options to consider:

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeño peppers
  • Diced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Extra tortilla chips

Feel free to customize your toppings according to your taste preferences or what you have on hand. Once your soup is garnished with these delicious additions, it’s ready to serve and be enjoyed. Don’t forget to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze the soup in a sealed container for up to three months – when you’re ready to enjoy it again, simply reheat it in a pot on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

This Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup is not only a delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers, but it also boasts a variety of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content of this comforting soup.

The calorie count in this recipe may vary depending on the ingredients you choose; however, a rough estimate for one serving of this soup would be around 350 calories. It has a balanced distribution of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, which makes it a nutritious and filling meal.

The primary source of protein in this soup is, of course, the leftover turkey. A single serving provides around 25-30 grams of protein. This will help in repairing and rebuilding your muscles while keeping you satiated for an extended period.

The soup is moderate in fat content, with 10-15 grams per serving. This includes both saturated and unsaturated fats, sourced mainly from the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Unsaturated fats are essential for maintaining good heart health, while saturated fats should be consumed in moderation.

The soup contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Potassium aids in maintaining proper heart function and regulating blood pressure, while vitamin C boosts your immune system. Calcium helps in maintaining strong bones and teeth, and iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout your body.

The blend of spices, such as black pepper and other seasonings, not only add flavor but bring their own nutritional benefits as well. Black pepper, for example, is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

In terms of carbohydrates, this soup contains around 40 grams per serving, which makes it ideal for providing your body with the necessary energy. The fiber content comes from the tortillas and vegetables used, averaging at about 4 grams per serving. This aids in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Finally, let’s talk about sodium and sugar content. The sodium levels depend heavily on the ingredients you use, particularly the broth and packaged seasonings; however, it is always possible to control the sodium intake by using low-sodium options. As for sugar, this soup is relatively low in sugar content, with less than 5 grams per serving.

With this nutritional information in mind, you can confidently choose this Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup as a tasty meal option that provides a balanced distribution of essential nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients are needed for turkey tortilla soup?

To make turkey tortilla soup, you will need cooked leftover turkey, broth (chicken or turkey), canned tomatoes, black beans, corn, a small onion, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeños (optional for heat), tortilla chips, and garnishes such as avocado, cheese or sour cream. The spices typically used include cumin, chili powder, and oregano.

How do I make tortilla soup with leftover turkey?

To make tortilla soup with leftover turkey, follow these simple steps:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot and sauté onions, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeños until softened.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes, broth, spices, corn, and black beans to the pot.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in cooked turkey and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Serve the soup topped with tortilla chips and your choice of garnishes.

Can I substitute enchilada sauce in turkey tortilla soup?

Yes, you can substitute enchilada sauce in turkey tortilla soup for a more complex flavor. Replace the canned tomatoes with an equal amount of red or green enchilada sauce. Adjust the spices to taste, as enchilada sauce is seasoned already.

What spices should I use for a Mexican-flavored turkey soup?

For a Mexican-flavored turkey soup, use a combination of cumin, chili powder, oregano, and paprika. You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños for some heat. Adjust the amounts to your taste preference.

How can I modify a chicken tortilla soup recipe to use turkey?

To modify a chicken tortilla soup recipe to use turkey, simply replace the cooked chicken with an equal amount of cooked turkey. Leftover turkey from a holiday meal works well for this substitution.

Are there any quick weeknight versions of turkey tortilla soup?

For a quick turkey tortilla soup, you can use store-bought rotisserie turkey or leftover cooked turkey, canned beans and corn, and pre-chopped vegetables to save time. Additionally, using an Instant Pot or slow cooker can streamline the process. Combine all ingredients, except the tortilla chips and garnishes, in the appliance and cook according to your preferred cooking method’s instructions.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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