Thursday, October 18, 2012

Writers Block, Thursday Trinkets, & Tex-Mex Turkey Soup

"This is for the tired and for the dreamers and for those families who'll never be like the Cleavers with perfectly made dinners and sons like Wally and the Beaver...... So when the world knocks at your front door, clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into its widespread greeting arms with your hands before you, fingertips trembling though they may be."" -Anis Mojgani: Shake the Dust 

  Lately I have been stuck in a rut. It's like everything I had a passion for suddenly seemed useless and the things I strive for seemed so far beyond my reach. The reason for my sporadic and dull posts lately is when it came time to write a post, my mind goes blank and nothing I write seems to be interesting. This isn't the first time since I started blogging, that I thought about taking a break or even deleting my blog, but I never do because I know that some time later I will get back into the hang of it and enjoy it again.
  I'm trying to find out what I am destined to do in this world; I used to think I knew exactly how my life would end up, but that idea has long since faded and I'm just trying to keep head above water some days. Ever since I took debate  as a sophomore I have loved spoken word poetry and it seems to be one of the things that I can always turn to when I'm feeling overwhelmed . So I've decided to start a category of posts called "Thursday Trinkets" where I will post things that I am interested in at the time, whatever is on my mind, and they may or may not also be combined with a recipe post.  Many bloggers do it {like Tuesday Things from How Sweet It Is} and I've thought about having doing something like that for a while now, but I think this will be a good little project to help me from getting detached.

  But for now I will share with you a soup recipe that I really, really enjoy. I created the recipe mid-morning  yesterday and I have eaten 2 1/2 bowls of it since which for me is rare because I like soup, but i'm not one of those people (like my mom) who could eat soup 2 out of 3 meals of the day.
  This meal would be great to make after the holidays when you have too much leftover turkey to give to the dogs, but can't stand to eat another turkey sandwich without turning into a turkey yourself. One year we had a huge bag of turkey leftover and after 3 days of munching on it no one in the house wanted to even think about eating turkey until the next Thanksgiving.

 This soup was a product of me being bored and not feeling so great, to use up some of the many bundles of cilantro that we had some how accumulated, and us having a large amount of turkey in the freezer which my dad refuses to eat (unless you sneak it in soup) because he claims "turkey burgers are gross, I had one once and I'm not trying it again." He's stubborn when it comes to food so you have to learn to sneak foods he claims that he doesn't like into dishes he does so he'll eat it and he always likes the end result as long as you keep the ingredients a secret.  I kept the seasoning and heat level to a minimum since my dad doesn't like any spicy food though you could easily add more spice. I was planning on roasting some corn to get a little char on it so it would give the soup a smokey flavor, like Chiloso's corn when you add it to the tortilla soup, but we were out of corn.

Tex-Mex Turkey Soup
Created by Rayna of The Curious Country Cook
yields: about 5 dinner servings  

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
11/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium stock (turkey or chicken)
3 cups cooked turkey, ground or shredded
salt & pepper to taste

Toppings: cilantro, avocado, cheese, chips, lime slices

-For more heat you could leave the seeds in the jalapeno and/or up the cayenne to 1/2-3/4 tsp.

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped onions, peppers, and garlic, saute for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
2. Stir in the spices and chopped cilantro and cook for about 1 minutes to let the spices "wake up" before adding the canned tomatoes, stock, and cooked turkey.
3. Bring to a boil before lowering the heat and simmering for at least 30 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings before serving with the toppings.

Store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.
Freezing: Allow the soup to cool completely before filling up a freezer bag or container about 3/4 of the way full, getting as much air out before labeling and freezing. When we freeze liquids, we find it easier to clear a section the your freezer so the bag can lay flat to freeze and then you can stack them. The soup will last a few months in the freezer, but the spices will get stronger so if you have a spicy soup to start out with it will be spicier when you defrost it {we discovered that with my grandma's taco soup}.


  1. I think Thursday Trinkets is a great idea! You'll definitely be able to look back and see how you've evolved over time and I think that's neat!

    This soup sounds wonderful, by the way! Definitely my kind of comfort food =)

  2. Ive made this soup 3 times including tonight and its to die for. Super easy to make and a crowd pleaser, thanks!