Turkey Tortilla Soup

adapted from Food and Wine

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 red bell peppers, small dice

1 jalapeño, seeded, small dice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used the smaller amount and adjusted for our tastes.)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound ground turkey

1 28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels 


Six 4-inch corn tortillas, cut into narrow strips 

2 limes, cut into wedges

1 avocado diced

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Sour Cream (optional)

Shredded Monterey jack cheese or crumbled queso fresco

Preheat oven:  375° (for the tortilla strips)

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  Add the onion and peppers.  Cook, over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.  Add the jalapeño and garlic. Cook 1 minute.  Add the spices:  chili powder, cumin, cocoa, oregano, paprika, cayenne, red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few twists of black pepper.  Stir.  Add the turkey and cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon, until it is browned and cooked through.  About 8-9 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and the chicken broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Prepare the tortilla stips.

Cut the tortillas into strips. Place the strips on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Mist both sides lightly with vegetable oil. Bake, stirring them around once or twice, until they are crisp and lightly golden, 10-15 minutes.

When the soup is finished simmering, stir in the beans and the corn.  Allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches serving temperature.

Ladle into bowls and serve with the tortilla strips, a squeeze of lime and additional toppings as desired.

Note:  The soup keeps well and may be prepared the day before.  Add all of the garnishes just before serving.