I first made this soup a couple weeks ago with a small, Soul Food Farm stock bird. I used a technique I use often that provides me with a light but full flavored broth to freeze and use for soups and also a good amount of shredded chicken meat to use for enchiladas, tacos, salad, what have you. Basically I simmer a whole chicken with aromatics for about 15 – 20 minutes and then turn the flame off and cover the pot for 45 minutes or so (depending on the size of the bird). It finishes cooking and comes out tender and succulent, not like you’ve boiled the crap out of it.
Anyway, today I’m recommending you just use whatever broth you have, or make a broth out of your turkey carcass and use it to make a turkey version of my chicken soup. You can even use some fried tortilla strips to make a classic tortilla soup. But the day after Thanksgiving I want something light, spicy, warming, and hearty. And I want to skip the fried stuff.
If making the broth from your turkey carcass include a couple sprigs cilantro, one celery rib, two crushed garlic cloves, onions, and some whole cumin seeds and peppercorns. Reserve all but 6 cups of broth for another use. This recipe will make 4 to 6 servings
4 dried chiles (anchos, New Mexico, guajillos, or whatever you like)
6 cups chicken or turkey broth
Add about 1 – ½ cups diced orange squash (I used red kuri)
1 cup sliced cabbage
1/3 cup white rice, Arborio or white long grain
2 cloves chopped garlic
1-1/2 cups shredded turkey (or chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste
Feta or queso fresco
Fried tortilla strips (optional)
Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and slit them down the sides so they open up flat. Toast them briefly in a cast iron pan over medium heat until they are fragrant but not burned. Place them in a bowl and pour in hot water to cover. Weigh them down with a small plate to keep them covered. Let them sit for 20 – 30 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Put the broth in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Add the squash, cabbage, and rice, and simmer on low until rice is done and squash is tender (about 20-25 mins). As soon as the chiles are soft enough, puree them in a blender or food processor with enough of their soaking water to make the mixture pourable. Add it to the soup whether the rice and squash is tender or not. Continue to cook until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors are blended. Add the shredded turkey and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with a squeeze of lime, a crumble of cheese, some diced avocado and cilantro leaves.