Tortillaless Turkey Soup Recipe

Got turkey leftovers? Try this easy and delicious soup recipe! This is one of my favorite “leftover” foods (you can use chicken too or just go vegetarian with some easy modifications), and will make a nice break from traditional holiday foods.

I normally don’t really share recipes here, but this is just one of my favorites.
My father-in-law in Texas taught this for me nine years ago, and I might have changed it a little bit, but it still is considered a family tradition. I did this yesterday and it was so nice to eat it with the family – my in-laws were here in Colorado spending Christmas with us.

Anyway.. I can’t resist sharing this tortilla soup recipe with you. I guess this is a pretty basic tortilla soup recipe, but I don’t do tortilla strips with it, so let’s call it Tortillaless Turkey Soup.

Tortillaless Turkey Soup

1 big heaping soup bowl of turkey / chicken leftovers in small pieces
1 jalopeno pepper
bunch of green onions
4 garlic gloves
1 32 oz container of chichen broth
32 oz water
1/2 can (15 oz) can of corn
1 large 28oz can of petite diced tomatoes
fresh cilantro

serve with:
cut avocados
tortilla chips / tortilla strips / quesadillas
cut green onions
sour cream
grated Mexican style cheese

1. (If you like hot soup, you can just skip this part and prepare jalopeno at the same way as garlic.)
Place the whole jalopeno in the oven and broil it for 10-15 minutes until roasted – until the pepper looks all black. Cut the pepper open under cold running water, the cold water will make it easier to peel of the skin of the jalopeno. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Mince into small.

2. Cut the green onions in half and use only the white ends – cut the white ends of green onion. Mince garlic. Melt half of stick butter in a large soup pan. Add green onions and garlic gloves and saute for about 10 minutes in medium heat (while jalopenos are in the oven). Be careful not to cook too long – unless you like the taste of roasted garlic. Sauteeing will make garlic subtle and not to stand out too much from the soup.

3. Add minced jalopeno and saute a few more minutes, add butter or splash of chicken stock if needed.

4. Add half of the chilchen broth, turn the stove to high. Add the can of tomatoes, corn and the turkey/chicken strips. Add rest of the chicken broth and water.

5. Mince fresh cilantro and add to the soup. (You can substitute to dry cumin, but for me the cilantro is a must)

6. Cook on medium heat at least one hour – gets better the longer you cook. If you cook more than 1,5 hours, add more water or chicken broth.

7. Cut rest of the green onion in a serving bowl, as well as the avocado. Make quasadillas (tortillas and cheese – broil in oven for 5 min per side), tortilla strips (cut tortillas in strips and fry).

8. Additionally serve with sour cream and cheese.


Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Use black beans instead of turkey.

Kids’ noodle version:

handful of turkey / chicken leftovers in small pieces
a very few green onions
1 garlic glove
1/2 32 oz container of chichen broth
17 oz water
1/2 can (15 oz) can of corn
(pinch of fresh cilantro)
handful of pasta shell / rotini etc.

I make this for the kids. Tomato allegries and the jalopeno prevent them from eating my version, so this is their favorite. I prepare it at the same time with the tortillaless turkey soup and then add a little bit of noodles (usually the pasta shells, but almost any kind of will work) for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  1. Tykkaan sun uuden vuoden lupauksesta. Itselleni talla kertaa menee tuon painon puolelle. Tai pitaisi kai sanoa terveyden puolelle silla olen massannyt kaikkea epaterveellista ihan liikaa ja keho valittaa. Ei vaan painon muodossa mutta myoskin etta olen ollut kipeena paljon. Kun syo paljon sokeria niin immune systeemi ei todellakaan tykkaa ja lopettaa toiminnan…

    Mulla ei ole turkey leftovers kun oon onnekas ja mennaan aina Jayn vanhemmille jouluruualle. Tai ehka oonkin epaonnekas kun silla leftover:lla ois helppo tehda juuri tallaisia maittavia ruokia. Hmm…

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