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Turkey Yucatan Soup, Tortilla + Avocado

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

Tortilla soup is all about the garnishes. We love a fairly simple soup base and a bowl chock full of queso fresco cubes, avocado, crispy tortilla strips, peppery radish and cilantro. Since there’s little in the broth, these toppings are what it’s all about!


  • 4 Corn Tortillas (4” or 6” are ok)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 Yellow Onion (divided)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 Dried Chiles (Ancho or Pasilla)s (look for ancho or pasilla - or sub high quality, fresh chili powder. See substitutions for more)
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock (divided)
  • 2 cups Water
  • 8 ounces Queso Fresco
  • 1 Avocado (maybe 2...check your audience)
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 bunch Radish

Cooking Instructions


    Slice the tortillas in strips about ½” wide and between 2” and 3” long.

    In a large heavy pot, heat ½ of the oil over medium-high heat. Add ½ the tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips, adding a little more oil if needed.


    When the tortillas are finished, add the ground turkey to the pan. Break up the meat as it cooks.
    While the turkey gets started, dice the onion into small cubes. Add ½ of it to the pan with the turkey.

  • 3. BLENDER

    In a blender, add the other ½ of the diced onion, the garlic, the can of tomatoes, and the ground cumin. Chop the stems off of the entire bunch of cilantro, where it meets most of the fresh leaves. Add the stems to the blender and save the leaves for garnish. If using chiles, slice off the tops and empty out the seeds, then tear them up into the blender (if using chili powder simply add it here). Add a cup or so of the chicken stock and blend very well to puree.

  • 4. SIMMER

    Add the blended ingredients into the pot with the ground turkey. Add the rest of the stock and the water and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining salt to taste.


    Dice the cheese into cubes. Slice the avocado. Slice one lime in half and the rest in wedges. Add these ingredients to a plate or small bowls per person. Garnish with the tortilla strips and cilantro leaves too.

    Slice the radishes into thick rounds. If you bought a bunch that has fresh greens, you can wash them and slice them as you would basil. Add the radish greens into the soup about 2 minutes before serving to just wilt them.

  • 6. SERVING

    Squeeze the halved lime into the soup and stir. Ladle into large bowls and garnish like crazy!

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    double check your tortillas are 100% corn and you’re set
    omit the cheese
    look for a sliceable sheep or goat’s cheese that’s still soft enough to warm through
    look for a sliceable sheep or goat’s cheese that’s still soft enough to warm through DRIED CHILES - if you don’t want to buy them or can’t easily find dried ancho or pasilla chilies, use chili powder. Add 2 Tablespoons to the blender. Do look for a high quality brand and hopefully, it hasn’t been sitting in the back of your cupboard for a year, as it will lose flavor
    crisping up your own strips really makes a difference for a simple soup. Plus, some of the corn flour remains in the pan and helps thicken things up. However, you can certainly skip this step and just add chips
    if you can’t find it, feta is a decent substitute. Soft tofu would work too. Or, even cubes of monterey jack would taste great
    ground chicken or beef would be ok. You can also use diced chicken breast, sautéed but then remove it while bringing the rest of the soup to a simmer. Add the pieces back in for the last 8 minutes of cooking
  • STOCK:
    vegetable stock or even all water will be ok too
    if your kids are not into any spice whatsoever, make this with just the tomatoes and a chili powder that isn’t spicy - some have chilis and some are just smokey and mild. Or, just make the soup with the tomatoes, etc., then when you divide out the kids portion, you can season the rest with the chili powder. If they won’t do a red soup, omit the tomatoes too, and just leave this broth based. Serve the final dish with a scoop of store bought salsa for the grownups
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