Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Butternut Tortilla Soup with Ground Turkey

Nothing beats a hearty bowl of soup when the weather outside is "frightful." I have a lot of favorites (wedding soup, pasta e fagiola, split pea, to name a few), but I'm always on the lookout for something new and delicious. There are countless recipes for tortilla soup, but most of them are thin broths. I had bookmarked this squash and corn tortilla soup a while back and decided to give it a try. As usual, I made a few changes to suit the pantry and my own tastes. There's a bit of prep involved, but the recipe yields a good quantity of soup (12 cups; recommended serving for 8 being 1 1/2 cups per serving).

1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbs seeded, chopped jalapenos 
2 tbs canola oil
3 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
2 cups seeded, chopped Roma tomatoes
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs ground cumin
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb ground turkey
1 bag (about 6 oz) fresh baby spinach
1 can white hominy, drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and seed butternut squash; cut into 1 inch cubes. Spread on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes.

Mince the corn, onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeno in a food processor.

Heat canola oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add tortillas and saute until slightly crisp. Stir in corn mixture, tomatoes, tomato paste, and cumin. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in broth and half the squash. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend soup with an immersion blender (or in small batches in the food processor) until smooth.

Brown turkey in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.

Add remaining butternut squash, turkey mixture, and hominy to soup. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with pepper, if desired.

N.I. per serving:  258 cal.; 6 g fat; 33 g carb; 6g fiber; 24g protein
Squash and corn have always been a good match. They used to be planted in the same fields, so eating them together is only natural. With 3 kinds of corn in the soup--pureed kernels provide sweetness, corn tortillas help thicken the soup, and whole hominy gives it texture--the soup is delicious and healthy. The addition of chunks of squash and ground turkey make it more like a stew. The jalapenos provided just a small amount of heat and the spinach added color and more texture. I loved this soup! Served with a kale Caesar salad, it was the perfect antidote to a day when the mercury never got above freezing.

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