Friday, January 18, 2013

Butternut Tortilla Soup

This soup was unlike any I'd tasted before.  We really liked it!  The toasted tortillas blended with the squash and jalapeño to create a terrific flavor.  And the varying textures kept each bite interesting.  A dollop of sour cream or some crumbled cotija would be a great addition.  But even without it, my husband and I both agreed after each bite that it was delicious!

Adapted from a recipe I copied from one of my mom's cookbooks

1 medium-sized butternut squash; peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, cut into fourths
1 jalapeño, seeded and de-stemmed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cumin
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound ground turkey
6 oz. spinach, chopped
1 15 oz. can white hominy, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the butternut squash.  Use whatever means you want; sauté, steam, or roast.  The goal is for the chunks to be cooked, but not too soft.  I steamed mine until they were tender when pierced with a fork - about ten minutes.  Once cooked, set aside.

While squash is cooking, put the corn, onion, garlic, and jalapeño in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large stock pot.  Add tortillas and sauté until starting to brown and slightly crisp.  Stir in the corn mixture, tomato, tomato paste and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the broth and 1 1/2 cups squash and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes and then blend the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender.

Return soup to stock pot and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  While soup is simmering, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking into chunks.  Once fully cooked, add to soup.

Stir in spinach, hominy, and remaining squash.  Cook 3-5 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.  Makes about 12 cups.

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