Recipe-less Turkey Tortilla Soup

It’s true, I love to cook, but I can’t say soup has ever been my forte. It’s never really been huge in my family either. I mean, my Memaw makes a mean chicken and dumplings and my mom will occasionally make something like tortilla soup (well, twice I think), but soup in general is not something that filled my childhood (except for Ramen). But it’s funny I say that considering this will be my second soup post since I’ve started writing.
Sunday night I did attempt to make soup – recipe-less. As much as I love trying new recipes, following a recipe step-by-step irritates me and sometimes makes dinner (or dessert) not quite as delicious. So I winged it.
I started with all the vegetables in my fridge that were nearing their death, some additional canned and fresh veggies, chicken stock, and a bag of frozen Cajun fried turkey from Thanksgiving that desperately needed to be used. Actually old food really freaks me out, but I made Jeff smell and taste the turkey and he said it was still delicious. So we used it.
Considering the ingredients I had available, I decided to make a turkey tortilla soup. The decision was a no-brainer considering the fact that chicken tortilla soup is hands down my favorite kind of soup. I have tried all different versions from all different places, and while I don’t have a favorite necessarily, I do know broth-based tortilla soup topped with crunchies, cheese and avocado does always top my list. So tortilla soup is what I attempted (for the second time in my life), but with turkey.
I started by chopping veggies to make a base: onion, celery, jalapeños and carrots (yes, I know carrots are not the standard).
I threw those in with the chicken stock and simmered it for a while to let the broth flavors meld.
Obviously the veggies I used weren’t good enough so I started grabbing additional things from the pantry and fridge. I then added diced tomatoes, corn, and limes.
Somewhere in between all of the steps I began adding, and continued to add, seasoning. By then Jeff had joined the kitchen, so he jumped in on the seasoning too. Since there are never any limits in our kitchen when it comes to using spices, this soup became a mutt of flavors. I believe we used garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, fajita salt, cumin, Mexican seasoning, Cavendar’s, Tony’s, Season All, pepper, and maybe a few more things.
At some point we threw in the cooked turkey and then let the flavors rest for a bit. We didn't give it too much time though because we were hungry. Topping the soup with tortilla chips, avocado, and cheese, we each had a BIG bowl!
My recipe-less soup was a success and today, for the 3rd day in a row, I will be eating the last bowl of it for lunch.
So will I be making this again? Yes. It’s the perfect way to rid your fridge of near-death veggies and it’s a meal that can last for way more than one sitting. It’s pretty easy to make too, just needs some time to rest. I’m sure if I would have used a crockpot or simmered the base for a few hours it would have been even better. I’ll be trying that next time and going for even more delicious soup!
P.S. – We finished our touch up’s on the master bedroom last night and I’ll have a sneak peek for you on Thursday or Friday. It’ll be a while before we are able to finish the very final details – like doors and blinds – but at least for now we get to move out of our living room efficiency. Yay!
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