Mexican turkey soup (caldo de guajolote)

This soup is super easy and makes great use of leftover turkey, adding some welcome spice after days of bland sandwiches.

You can make your own turkey stock by boiling the bones from your Thanksgiving bird with some chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley for about an hour, then straining out the solids. Or, if you’re pressed for time, canned chicken stock will work in a pinch.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 5 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups turkey, cooked, chopped
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the celery, bell pepper and carrot, salt lightly, cover, reduce the heat slightly, and sweat the vegetables for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the stock, turkey meat, corn and tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a near boil, cover, and reduce the heat to moderately low. Gently simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the soup sit for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Reheat gently and serve, stirring in the fresh herbs just before serving.

Source: Soup Makes the Meal, by Ken Haedrich