Except for last year’s fluke, I always seem to get sick around the Thanksgiving holiday. This year I almost got through the weekend without getting sick but the stress of work and traveling with plenty of other flu-infested folks finally caught up to me and I am now a raging little ball of bronchitis & flu. It’s certainly not helping much in terms of finances; considering the time lost due to the sprained ankle and now this, I am going to be bare bones-ing it through the New Year. The good news is that my Mom & Auntie really spoiled me over the holiday and I also got to bring home the majority of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Like most of you, I am now drowning in stuffing, yams and the inevitable turkey. Since I have had absolutely zero energy and desire to cook, I was actually dreaming of canned soup that could be easily heated; then I snapped out of it and decided to make a nice, spicy soup to make use of the many leftovers that are filling my fridge right now.
I was actually going to make more Sick Person Soup with turkey instead of tofu, but because I’d had too much of that in October, I figured I’d go in a different direction. I contemplated making some more of my Hearty Mushroom & Potato Soup that turned out to be such a hit (I still get most of my new visitors from that recipe link; so amazing!), but that involved far too much chopping for my energy level. Woozily I surveyed my food selection and chose a bunch of shredded turkey meat, turkey stock made from scratch and some mixed veggies that were hangin’ out in my freezer. A healthy dose of chipotle pepper would certainly help to provide the spiciness I craved to help unclog my head and chest, and a new, super easy soup recipe was born.
Those of you who make your own meat or vegetable stocks know just how delicious, versatile and healthy these stocks can be, but for those of you who aren’t that convinced or think it’s too time-consuming to prepare a stock from scratch, allow me to throw in the whole use-of-leftovers-and-cost-reduction thing into the mix. From one large Thanksgiving turkey most of us will usually go for the meat and call it a day – a great way to make use of the bird, of course – but what about the giant set of bones that remains? Should they really be cast aside into the garbage bin? Not at all. Though it’s much better to use bones that have not yet been cooked to make a good stock, it is also possible to get very tasty results by using parts from a cooked bird. Simply make sure to remove as much of the cooked meat from the bones as possible so that you create a cleaner stock.
Of course, it’s completely okay to use chicken broth to make this soup if that’s all you have on hand or are unsure of how to make a good stock. When I feel better I will certainly be posting the recipe for my turkey stock, filled with yummy spices & flavors that will fill your entire kitchen with a delicious aroma. For now, check out this super simple recipe that will not only unclog your sinuses, but will also help you figure out what to do with all that leftover turkey meat.
Spicy Turkey & Chipotle Pepper Soup (serves 4; total cost per serving: ~ $2.05)
4 c turkey stock (chicken broth will also do)
1 c water
1 c shredded leftover turkey meat (white, dark or both)
1 c frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped (1 T ground chipotle pepper will also work)
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t sea salt
Small handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)
In a large pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, garlic and diced onion and cook until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic begins to brown. Add the tomato, chipotle peppers, salt and cumin, sauté for about 2 minutes. Next, add the turkey stock and water. Bring to a low boil and then add the turkey meat and mixed veggies. Simmer for about 10 minutes or so, until all the flavors are combined and the aroma permeates the air. Serve generous amounts of the soup in large bowls, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
Time saving tip: You can use 3/4 cup of hogao in place of the tomato & cilantro if you have some already made. It’ll add a nice twist to the flavor of the soup and spare you the extra chopping.