Sunday, March 6, 2011

End of the Week, More Ground Turkey

At the end of my first full week at the new job I had some ground turkey I needed to use so I decided to make a good ole standby - ground turkey mexican soup. It's sort of a cross between a chicken tortilla soup and a chili - and it's fairly quick and I usually have all the ingredients on hand without having to make an extra trip to the grocery store.  When my parents came down on Saturday to help me go couch shopping I was able to offer up this homemade soup for lunch!

Turkey Fiesta Soup
1 lb. lean ground turkey (or chicken!)
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup black beans
1 can petite cut tomatoes, no salt added (plus one can full of water)
1 package, ortega chili seasoning mix
Dash of cumin, paprika, salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon paste
1/3 cup frozen corn
1 TB fresh lime juice
Garnishes: shredded cheddar, chopped scallion, cubed avocado, fresh diced tomato, sour cream

1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, add 1 TB of oil and when it's hot add the ground turkey. You'll want to brown the turkey and cook it until it's almost all the way cooked (some pink is still okay because it will keep cooking while you add all of your other ingredients in the next steps). Stir every now and then so that the turkey on the bottom doesn't stick to the pan and isn't the only turkey cooking!
2. Next you can add the chopped green pepper and chopped onion. Stir together, let cook for a few minutes and then add the chopped scallion and garlic. Stir again and next you can add the black beans and can of diced tomatoes. Fill the tomato can up with water and add that to the soup pan as well. (Make sure that if you're using a can of black beans, you rinse them off first!)
3. Add the ortega chili packet, as well as an extra dash of cumin and paprika. If you'd like a little heat - try adding a 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of chili powder (depending on what you like!). At this point you can also add the chicken bouillon paste. I use the paste because I like that I can use as much or as little as I'd like - as opposed to the bouillon cubes, which you can't really cut in half or only use part of. I also like getting the low sodium version. After adding all of these flavorings let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Just before the soup is done (just taste it one last time to make sure it's the right flavors you like and not too salty!) - add the frozen corn and lime juice (and salt and pepper if you think it needs it). Stir one last time and it's time to serve!
5. It's a nice presentation if you offer the garnishes on the table in small bowls - people can add whichever garnishes they like. I chose some extra chopped scallion, a little shredded cheddar cheese and some cubed avocado (which I think works PERFECT on this soup!!). You can also add some fresh diced tomato, sour cream, crushed tortilla chops - be creative!

If you're more of a red meat person - you can probably use this same recipe, but you don't need to add the olive oil to the pan in the first step when you're browning the meat. You'll also want to drain off the fat before you add the pepper and onion because red meat produces quite a bit of fat in the pan that will give the soup a very greasy, undesireable taste!

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