Turkey Posole Soup

That leftover Thanksgiving turkey is put to great use in a warm, comforting, and very satisfying soup

Serves 8 to 10
Serving Size: 8

Turkey Posole Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Let’s all hum of a few songs of the Thanksgiving Leftover Blues?

They aren’t really blues, of course.  First of all, anyone lucky enough to be wrestling with the issue of leftovers is a fortunate son indeed.  Secondly, leftovers are kick-ass amazing (I almost said “boss” but I couldn’t even pull that off in my own mind).

Turkey Posole Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman / themom100.com

But once everyone has had that second, or possibly third, go-round with the foods of the Thanksgiving table in their original incarnation, now just cold and/or reheated…well, something else needs to happen, if you still have this food hanging around.

The turkey is, in my opinion, the item that is most in need of rehabilitation, and happily also the most versatile.  I love the turkey when it first hits the table, and have my share.  But I am just not a big fan of leftover turkey as is.  I’ll heat up those mashed potatoes and stuffing and eat them until they are but a memory, and the pies never go to taste, but I have to do something with the turkey to get myself excited about seeing it again.

Turkey Posole Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman / themom100.com

For no apparent reason every year I think of posole as I face down the turkey carcass and the pile of leftover turkey meat.   A warm, comforting soup-ey stew is always in order, and the chewy-soft texture and gentle flavor of posole.  Posole sometimes refers to the dried and soaked hominy itself, and sometimes refers to the traditional Mexican stew made with this corn, usually with pork, and then lots of add-ins.

Authenticity is not helpful when you have a turkey waiting to be repurposed, so this soup uses all those leftovers, and suddenly I am delighted to have leftover turkey in my life.  The carcass and any parts of the turkey that are still around turn into the broth that anchors this soup, and the meat gets shredded and simmered right now.

Turkey Posole Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman / themom100.com

This soup is very easy—total dump and stir.  If you have a bit of extra time, saute the onions and carrots in a tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes before adding in the rest of the ingredients.  Will just add a bit more flavor and depth to the soup.

This makes a lot of soup—feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Turkey Posole Soup / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Turkey Posole Soup


Turkey Posole Soup

  • 12 cups turkey broth/stock or chicken broth
  • 8 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans posole or hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in their juice
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pureed chipotles in adobo
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

Optional Add-ins

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Finely diced onion

1. Combine the turkey broth, shredded turkey, posole, canned tomatoes, onions, carrots, bay leaves, and pureed chipotles in a large stockpot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper, and, lower the heat to medium low, continue to simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the whole house smells great.

2. Stir in the chopped parsley and adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serve in bowls.  This is even better the next day.

The world’s simplest turkey broth

Break up the carcass (there should still be some meat attached it to), and throw it into a pot of cold water or preferably chicken broth (for extra built in flavor). If there are some leftover wings or drumsticks, and hopefully some leftover herbs, onions and/or carrots which have been used to roast the original turkey, throw those all into the pot. (Or throw in a few quartered onions and sliced up carrots). Simmer, partially covered, for about an hour and a half until the broth is quite richly flavored, adding salt and pepper as needed. Strain, and discard all of the solids, and you have turkey broth/stock.

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