I’m already thinking ahead to Thanksgiving leftovers with this Spicy Southwest Butternut Squash and Turkey Soup with Adobo Sauce and Chilis. This soup is smokey and spicy from Adobo Sauce and added Chilis but also sweet from the Butternut Squash and Corn. If you’d prefer, you could easily adapt to your spice preference with just a pinch of cayenne pepper and some smoked paprika.
Oh Yeah – Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. And now that Halloween is behind us I’m starting to get excited. Not only do I get to cook and sit down to Eat Up! with family – leftovers are coming! Stuffing leftovers and lasagna leftovers and sweet potato leftovers and pies and cakes and Turkey Leftovers. We’ve got three weeks to start planning our Thanksgiving dinners and our post-Thanksgiving dinners. Today’s post for Spicy Southwest Butternut Squash and Turkey Soup is made from fresh turkey but you could easily just add some left over turkey near the end of cooking. Damn that sounds good!
There’s about seven thousand kinds of turkey soup or butternut squash soups out there. This soup happens to be one I made with ingredients I already had lying around the kitchen. That’s the great thing about soup – it’s perfect for leftovers. The butternut squash, green peppers, and cayenne chilis came from my Philly Food Works farm share over the past couple weeks. I was going to use the chipotle for the Three Chili Short Rib Chili I made but opted to stick with all rehydrated chilis (a good decision). There aren’t many steps in this recipe and it comes together pretty quick.
The first thing you’ll want to do is finely dice your onions and peppers. Get them out of the way and ready for your big pot or dutch oven. We’re going to need a little room for peeling the butternut squash. It can be a little unwieldy so I like to chop the top and bottom off before I do anything. Then I stand it up and use a vegetable peeler to remove the thick skin. It takes 4 minutes. Slice the squash in half (top to bottom) with a large chef’s knife, scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the squash in half again so it’s easier to work with. Chop it up in to three quarter inch cubes then set it aside.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until they start to sweat. Then add the peppers and cook them just until they get tender. At this point you can add the adobo sauce, some tied up cilantro (to remove later), the spices, a couple cups of water and stir to combine. Time to poach some turkey.
I had a pound of presliced turkey filets but you could use a small fresh turkey breast. Just slice it lengthwise in to 3/4 inch pieces. Add the turkey to the pot and allow it to poach covered for 15-20 minutes until it’s cooked through. When it’s done you can transfer it to a plate to cool off. Use two forks to shred the turkey when it’s cool enough to work with.
When you remove the turkey you can add the butternut squash. Dump it all in the pot, give it a stir and let it simmer in the soup covered for 25-30 minutes. The squash is tender when you can easily pierce it with a fork without falling apart. A taste test works best. When the squash is just tender enough, we’re going to blend half the soup. For this step I like to use an immersion blender. If you plan on making any soups this winter, you’ve gotta get one. Remove the tied up bunch of cilantro and carefully blend half the soup so some of the squash is still whole. Then stir the beans, corn, and turkey back in to the pot. Add two to three cups of water depending on your desired consistency. Cover the pot and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. That’s it!
Southwest Butternut Squash Turkey Soup
- 1 medium onion diced small
- 1 green bell pepper diced small
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 can chipotle chilis diced / to taste with adobo sauce
- Dried chili flakes to taste
- small handful cilantro stalks tied in a bundle to remove later
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb. turkey breast 3/4 inch slices
- 1 butternut squash peeled and diced
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 package frozen corn or 1 cup fresh
- 2-3 cups water
- Serve with Minced Cilantro and Sour Cream
- Pour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into a large dutch over medium low heat. Sauté the onions until translucent then add the peppers. Sauté until peppers are nearly tender.
- Add cumin, salt, pepper, adobo sauce, cilantro, diced chipotle peppers and chili flakes to taste, and 2 cups water. Stir to combine.
- Use either packaged turkey filets or a 1 pound breast sliced in to 3/4 inch slices. Place the turkey in the pot on top of the soup and allow to poach, covered for 15-20 minutes. Remove turkey when cooked through and set aside to cool off. When cool enough to work with, shred in to bite size pieces using two forks.
- When the turkey is removed from the pot, add the diced butternut squash and cover. Allow to simmer on medium low heat until tender - about 25-30 minutes. Squash is tender when it's easily pierced with a fork but does not fall apart.
- Remove the tied up cilantro. Blend about half the soup leaving some of the diced squash still whole. This is best done with an immersion blender but can also be accomplished with a standing blender.
- Add the beans, corn, and shredded turkey with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Stir in 2 to 3 cups of fresh water depending on your desired thickness. Taste for seasoning. Cover again and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with Minced Cilantro and Sour Cream.