Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup


A recipe for Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup on LouiseMellor.com

I am a master at reinventing leftovers, at my house just about everything becomes soup at some point. Thanksgiving turkey is no exception and leftover turkey tortilla soup shows up around the third day after Thanksgiving.  You might think it’s a talent and be wildly jealous of my super woman skills, but the truth is my creativity is born out of laziness.  Don’t get me wrong, I love food.  Food shows up in every part of my life both personally and professionally.  But just like you, the last thing I want to think about after a long day is “what is for dinner ?”.  Out of my laziness, I have learned to create meals out of leftovers. Cooking a big meal once and then spreading it out over a few days allows me to enjoy other things in my life,  like laundry and 4th grade math homework.  Yes it’s true, by day I’m a stylist who creates mouth-watering images for the camera and by night I am a dedicated  housewife & mommy.

A recipe for Leftover Turkey Tortilla Soup on LouiseMellor.com

I can turn pot roast into day #2 tacos  and on day #3  it has been reinvented into beef and barley soup.   Roast chicken turns into enchiladas and then on day #3 it is tortillas soup.   This recipe for tortillas soup can be easily adjusted to use leftover turkey the days following Thanksgiving.  When your family gets sick of seeing the turkey, just shred it up and throw it into a soup pot.  This soup recipe is basically a chili based enchilada sauce thinned out with broth to create a soup.  You can make it as spicy as you like by adding more or less chili powder.  I like to make it pretty mild and then have more hot sauce like Tapatio on the table.


From my family to yours, wishing you a warm & cozy Thanksgiving with the ones you love!



Leftover Turkey Tortilla soup
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
  • ¼ cup organic tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, warmed
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into thin slices
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼" coins
  • ¼ cup whole wheat white flour or all purpose white flour
  • 2 Tablespoons mild chili powder (found in the spice aisle) or ground New Mexico chili (found in the Mexican food section of the market) or ground Hatch Chili powder (available through Melissa's produce branded under the name Don Enrique)
  • 3 cups leftover turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn
  • 1 Italian zucchini or summer squash cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Garnish
  • Fresh limes
  • Radish slices
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Fried tortilla strips
  • 3 Corn tortillas
  • Grapeseed oil
  1. In a large pyrex mixing bowl, whisk to combine the tomato paste, cumin, oregano, garlic,salt & pepper, and broth. Microwave on high for a few minutes to warm the mixture and then set aside.
  2. Heat a soup pot over medium heat and then add in the olive oil. Once the olive oil is warm, add to the pot the onion, celery and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and sweat the vegetables for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Sprinkle the flour and chili powder over the onions and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly pour in the broth mixture a little at a time followed by the 4 cups of water, stirring to combine. Once all of the broth has been added, add in the turkey, corn,squash, cilantro, bay leaf, and lime juice. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile
  6. Cut the corn torillas into thin strips - set aside.
  7. Heat a small saute pan over medium/high heat with grapeseed oil, about ½ inch
  8. Once the oil is hot add in the tortilla strips (Start with a tester to see if the oil is hot enough. You are looking for rapid bubbles,) Fry until golden brown and then drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  9. Garnish with fresh lime juice, radishes, chopped cilantro, and fried tortilla strips


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