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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leftovers = Soup! Turkey Soup with Lime and Chile

The day after Thanksgiving is officially "Turkey Sandwich" day at our house. I do absolutely no cooking whatsoever that Friday, and if anyone stands in my kitchen and has the gall to ask, "I'm hungry... what can I eat?" I really cannot be held responsible for my reactions.

On the other hand, if Friday is Thanksgiving-Part-Two-Served-Up-On-A-Roll, Saturday is "Leftover Transformation" day! After a full day of countless sandwiches made with a variety of leftover Thanksgiving wonders, I don't want anything I eat or make on Saturday to taste like Thanksgiving. We have been there/eaten that by Saturday.

This year I stole transformative ideas from other bloggers. I loved Savory Sweet Life's  Cranberry-Apple Crisp made with all my leftover homemade cranberry sauce. Transformed, and delicious! Our leftover New England Sausage, Apple, and Dried Cranberry Stuffing became a Stuffing Frittata by My Last Bite. Yum!

And then it was time for soup! I still had lots of lovely turkey, but we were all craving bolder flavors than just a plain turkey noodle. So this year I made Turkey Soup with Lime and Chile. The end result tastes NOTHING like Thanksgiving. The bright lime is in the forefront and the chiles leave a nice lingering heat behind. It's really good... I would make it even if I didn't have turkey to use up!

Turkey Soup with Lime and Chile
Serves 6-8

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. diced yellow onion (1 med. onion)
1 c. diced carrot (about 1 large carrot)
1 c. diced celery (about stalks)
grated zest of one large lime
2 cloves garlic, pressed through a press
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. ground ancho chili powder
2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
6 c. chicken broth
4 c. cooked turkey, shredded into bite-sized pieces
7 oz. can of diced green chiles
1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed
Toppings: diced green onions, fresh cilantro, tortilla strips

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until soft and tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add in carrots and celery and continue to sautee until vegetables soften slightly, another 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic, lime zest, and all the spices. Sautee for one minute until the vegetables are coated and the garlic is fragrant.

Add the lime juice, broth, turkey, chiles, and beans. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, or until the flavors have had a chance to come together. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve, topping with chopped green onions, freshly chopped cilantro, and tortilla chips.

**I found the spicy heat held nicely with a night in the fridge, but the lime juice needed to be bumped back up the next day with another fresh squeeze.

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