Turkey fajita soup

Turkey fajita soup is an excellent vehicle for using leftovers from Thanksgiving.

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This is not another Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.

OK, well, it gets off on a technicality, since I did use the rest of my leftover turkey breast when I made it this weekend. But this is the second time I’ve made this soup this month, because it’s that good. It also happens to be an excellent vehicle for leftovers.

I like Thanksgiving food, but I get tired of eating the same thing again and again, and I’m currently pregnant, so microwaving meat is a no-go for me. This soup is excellent on its own, but I knew earlier this month that I would redo it with leftover turkey. It’s ready in about 45 minutes (or less) and it’s really adaptable to whatever leftover veggies you may have on hand. I think it would also be great with pork or ham, though, you’d want to simmer it a little longer so the pork gets nice and stringy.

The first time I made this, I had no jalapenos, so I substituted red pepper flakes. This past weekend, I added some carrots, because we all need more vegetables in our diet, and I had them on hand. I made broth with leftover Thanksgiving crudités — fennel, celery, the end of a Machengo cheese wedge and some leftover chopped onion from making potato pancakes. I didn’t have black beans, so I used other beans. If you want a thicker soup, throw in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. The possibilities are endless here, but you come out with a really delicious, healthy soup that is in no way reminiscent of Thanksgiving.

Happy holidays! I hope you close out 2020 with new flavors, a huge plate of cookies, and some healthy, simple meals to hold you over in between.


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Serves 4-6


1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 red or green pepper, chopped 2 medium carrots, diced 2 cans black beans (or other — I used pink beans and pintos this weekend) 1 jalapeno, diced (omit if you don’t want the spice) 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 cup frozen corn 1/4 cup salsa 10- to 12-ounce can tomato puree (or half a large-size can) 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken (pork or ham would also work well here. You can also add chicken raw and cook for 15 minutes longer, then shred and add back into your soup pot.) 4 cups broth of your choice Olive oil for pot


Add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large soup pot and heat on medium until oil is hot, then add onion, jalapeno, garlic, pepper and carrots. Saute 5 minutes or so, until vegetables are soft and onions begin to look translucent. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin and turmeric, then cook 1 to 2 minutes longer before adding tomato puree, corn, beans, salsa, broth and turkey/chicken. Stir together, then let simmer for 30 minutes, until soup has reduced to your desired consistency.

Serve with crusty bread or tortilla strips.