Here we go, it’s about that time to answer the very important question of ‘What to do with ALL the Thanksgiving leftovers?’ While I know the big holiday hasn’t hit just yet, I want to help you guys get prepared for the aftermath. This week is all about Thanksgiving leftover ideas for the days following the big event! Since we are always left with loads of goodies, why not get creative and continue the eating party?
Soups are almost always my go-to after the holidays, for a variety of reasons. 1) they are so simple to make and they yield a large amount of food 2) soup is my ultimate comfort food. It’s always what I crave after I’ve maybe eaten more or differently than I usually do and 3) it’s the perfect cozy, cool-weather food. Soup will forever feel like a hug in food form!
I have been making various renditions of this soup for many, many years, usually I make it with chicken, making the stock from a leftover carcass after we’ve made a roast chicken. Last year when we were in Mexico for Thanksgiving, it felt more appropriate than ever to make this soup for everyone, with the leftover turkey bones and meat. You can follow my tutorial for making bone broth, if you’d like, to take the flavor and nutrient-density of your turkey stock to the next level, otherwise you can just cook the stock for 3 to 4 hours and it will still be incredible. If you don’t have the bones, use a high quality, low-sodium organic chicken or turkey stock or broth from the store.
This soup is also a wonderful way to use up the leftover meat. Shred it up and throw it in. To me this soup is ALL about the toppings and you can truly customize this soup for each dinner guest, by setting up a toppings bar of sorts. The crispy tortilla strips, of course, fresh avocado, cilantro, green onions, your favorite hot sauce, you can also supply shredded cheese, cooked black beans and charred corn, for those that want it.
To make this soup paleo, we leave out the cheese, beans and corn that can oftentimes make an appearance in a traditional tortilla soup and I make homemade cassava flour tortillas (make sure you cook them first) and I fry those guys up nice and crispy in place of the more standard corn tortillas. You can also buy cassava flour tortillas or almond flour tortillas, if you prefer. Serve this soup with a fall-inspired margarita for the ultimate post Thanksgiving chill-out.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 dry chipotles (or 1 jalapeño, minced)
- 2 bell peppers, diced (red, yellow, or orange)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt plus more
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 28 ounce can of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 to 8 cups low-sodium turkey or chicken broth (use this tutorial to make from the turkey carcass)
- 4 cups shredded turkey (or chicken)
- 1 or 2 limes
- black beans
- 8 or more cassava flour tortillas, cut into thin strips (or corn tortillas)
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- fresh green onions, thinly sliced
- sour cream
- shredded cheddar or colby jack
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and all your peppers, saute until the onion is lightly translucent and the peppers have all softened, a bit. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and salt, stir. Cook another minute. Add the roasted tomatoes and broth and bring to boil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer the soup for 30 minutes or so to really allow all of the flavors to come together. Taste the soup and add additional spices, as you'd like. Remove the two whole chipotle peppers, if you added.
- Meanwhile, slice 8 or more corn tortillas into thin strips. In a heavy skillet, heat the pan over a medium high heat and add enough oil (use ghee, lard, tallow or other high-heat appropriate oil) to cover the bottom of the pan by ⅛ - ¼ - inch. Once hot, add the tortilla strips in a single layer, frying quickly for about 45 seconds to 1 minute, flipping them once to ensure both sides get crisp. With a pair of tongs, remove the tortillas once crispy and golden brown and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to dry. Season with salt and a little chili powder.
- Add the shredded turkey (or chicken) to the soup, simmer until heated through. Add a few bunches of cilantro and the juice of one to two limes and stir.
- Serve soup topped with the crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, green onions and a few squeezes of lime. You can also top with shredded cheddar, hot sauce, sour cream or whatever else you might like.