Do you like tortilla soup? It’s one of the easiest soups to make from scratch. You start by frying strips of corn tortillas in a little oil until crispy, then use that same tortilla-infused oil to sauté onions as you start to build the soup. The flavor is fabulous!
It’s usually made with chicken, but we can just as easily make this soup with leftover shredded turkey. If you have homemade turkey stock? Even better.
In this version we are spicing up the soup base with a minced chipotle chili in adobo. The smoky flavor of the chili goes perfectly with the turkey.
From start to finish the soup takes less than an hour to make, and it’s so good you’ll want to make another batch. My father came over the day I made a pot of this soup and he ate half of it! Cleaned us out actually. Now I’m waiting for our Thanksgiving leftovers so I can make some more.
Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe
To save time, prep the garnishes (avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, lime wedges) while the soup is cooking in step 3.
- 6 6-inch yellow corn tortillas
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, about 2 teaspoons
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
- Pinch of ground cumin
- 6 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
- 1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (use fire roasted if available)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
- 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat
- 1 avocado, cut into cubes
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Fry strips of corn tortillas: Somewhat dry corn tortillas work best for this, so you can either leave the tortillas out overnight on a rack, or put them in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes. (If your tortillas are too dry, you can soften them by putting them in the microwave for 30 seconds.)
Slice them into 1/4-inch wide strips, and then cut the longer strips in half.
Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart, thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, working in batches (a third at a time) add the tortilla strips.
Fry them until lightly browned at the edges, a minute or so. Use tongs to remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.
2 Cook the onions until softened: Add the chopped onions to the pot with the remaining oil. Cook on medium high heat until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
3 Add garlic, cumin, chipotle: Add the garlic, cumin, and minced chipotle chili in adobo and cook for 2 minutes more.
4 Add tomatoes, stock, salt, then simmer: Add the crushed tomatoes, turkey (or chicken) stock, and salt. Increase the heat to high, bring mixture to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
5 Add shredded turkey: Add the shredded turkey and cook until just heated through, a minute or two.
6 Garnish and serve: To serve, divide half of the fried tortilla strips into individual serving bowls. Top with the soup.
Sprinkle with chopped avocado, shredded cheese, the remaining tortilla strips, and cilantro.
Serve with lime wedges.
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