Saturday, November 28, 2015

Yucatan Turkey Soup (Sopa de Lima)

Okay, I've done two nights in a row with "heavy" turkey meals. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday that always leads to a coma. Then last night was turkey leftovers.....turkey sandwiches on English muffins and Torta rolls. More stuffing....because you really cannot get enough bread calories. And then you wake up on Saturday morning feeling like the Angry Bird blimp from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

In Yucatan, they do not celebrate Thanksgiving. But they still love their turkey every bit as much as we do. Ok, maybe not quite as much as we do as they usually make it with chicken. But if you are like me, I still have a lot of turkey left over. What better way to use that turkey than in a light and incredibly delicious bowl of Sopa de Lima? This David Tanis recipe serves 4 to 6.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
½ teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches long
 A pinch of Cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
8 cups unsalted turkey or chicken broth
Vegetable oil for frying (about 1 cup)*
4 corn tortillas, at least a day old, cut in 1/2-inch strips**
4 to 6 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded
1 or 2 firm-ripe avocados
6 scallions, chopped
2 jalapeƱos, thinly sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
Lime wedges

*Skip if you use Fritos. See directly below.
**If you are lazy like me and sure as hell do not want to do more cooking this weekend, screw the tortillas and frying...just throw in a couple of handfuls of Frito original corn chips.


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and let soften, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Toast the cumin, coriander and peppercorns in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute, then grind in a spice mill or mortar. Add the ground spices to the pot, along with the garlic, cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and salt.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then taste for salt and adjust. Keep hot, covered, over very low heat.
  4. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a wide skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and looks wavy, add the tortilla strips and fry until barely colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. n a medium saucepan, heat the shredded turkey meat with a little of the hot soup. Divide the meat among 4 to 6 soup bowls and add a few slices of avocado to each. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each bowl, then garnish with tortilla strips, scallions, jalapeƱo slices, chopped cilantro and a generous squeeze of lime juice.

Wine pairing: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. You could also switch to Pacifica Mexican beer if you are feeling carb deprived from this healthy meal.

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