Every year after the holidays are over, we all end up with lots of leftover turkey. Lots and lots of it. I’ve made a lot of the “standard” leftover turkey soup, with potatoes and carrots and broccoli. This time I wanted something with more zip. I had some turkey (naturally), some tomatoes, lime, and of course spices, so I decided to go for a south of the border flavor. So, spicy leftover turkey soup was born.
Ironically, a friend (who translates books from English to Spanish) once told me there are no turkeys in South America, which made her job rather difficult when she had to translate some turkey recipes.
I suppose that makes this not strictly authentic Mexican food. Authentic or not, the tangy lime, the spicy cayenne, and the cool sour cream make the soup flavorful, rich, and satisfying.
Quick and Easy Spicy Leftover Turkey Soup Substitutions and Variations
Since recipes are often meant to be guidelines, and since we don’t always have the exact ingredients handy, here are some substitutions:
- If you don’t have a turkey carcass, use turkey thighs, depending on size, one or two should do it.
- I used navy beans for the soup, you could use white kidney beans or pinto beans
- Replace the diced tomatoes with 1/2 C peeled tomatoes (and smush them up)
- Add a handful of frozen corn
- Top with crumbled tortilla chips, or cut up some tortillas, fry them, and sprinkle them on top of the soup for extra crunch.
More Turkey Recipes
A delicious way to use up holiday leftovers and transform the flavors. This is sweet, spicy, and tangy too.
Remember those jelly meatballs you had as a kid? They’ve now grown up and gotten more complex. Less sweet, more spicy.
The classic leftover turkey soup, chock-full of potatoes, carrots, and (shhh) frozen veggies. Why chop if you don’t have to?
Tender turkey, sweet peas and carrots all wrapped in a flaky all-butter crust. Make the crust (as I did) or buy one. It’s all good.