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How to Cook Tired of Leftover Holiday Turkey Low-Fat Tortilla Soup

Be Prepared for Leftover Turkey ahead of time!!!

Need to eat a “little bit healthy” during and between the holidays? This is one delicious, Tex-Mex soup that will have you feeling warm all over!

This recipe may use a bunch of ingredients and takes two hours, but it is sooooo worth it…believe me!

My husband is a track & field decathlete, and always needs low-cal, low-fat alternatives for meals. Now, he is a Southern man through-and-through and loves his soul food, so this is a great negotiation of flavor and healthy eating! Enjoy!


  • Serve with: low-fat shredded cheese and low-fat sour cream
  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 2 hr
  • Yield: 1 large stock pot full

Nutrition Facts:
This soup is very low in fat. You can reduce the salt for low-sodium, and if desired, you may eliminate the beer from the recipe for lower calorie content!


  • 4 cups turkey: You can use leftover turkey with bones and carcass, fresh or frozen turkey.
  • 6 large carrots, sliced crossway
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced crossway
  • 5 cloves garlic (whole)
  • Water, enough to fill a large stock pot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lime leaves (optional)
  • 8 peppercorns (whole)
  • 8 coriander seeds (whole)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. (or to taste) sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 lite beer (or 3/4 of a whole beer)
  • 2 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp. (or to taste) hot sauce, not Tabasco
  • 10 oz. tomato sauce (not pasta sauce)
  • shredded cheese – low-fat Tex-Mex or cheddar
  • low-fat sour cream
  • tortilla chips (baked, if possible) to float on top of soup


  1. Fill stock pot 3/4 full of cold water with sea salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaves, and 2 lime leaves.
  2. A) If using leftover turkey parts and bones/carcass, break up into parts that will fit into pot and put in water. B) If using fresh, uncooked turkey, or frozen turkey, rinse off turkey parts and put into water.
  3. Wash and chop carrots, celery, onion very roughly. Keep garlic cloves whole, just peel skins off. Add to pot.
  4. A) If using leftover turkey and bones, allow to come to a boil slowly, then turn down heat to simmer. Lightly boil/simmer for about 1.5 hrs. B) If starting with raw turkey, lightly boil/simmer for about 1.5 hrs or until turkey is tender and falling off the bone if starting with raw turkey. Take a piece of turkey out of the pot, and make sure the turkey juice runs clear when cut near the bone.
  5. * Tip: Some brown foam may rise to the top of the pot, so take a large spoon and skim off the brown foam off the top and discard. These are the ‘impurities’. You may have to do this a few times before the soup boils clean.

  6. Once turkey is “falling off the bone,” if starting with raw turkey, or after 1.5 hrs of simmering with leftover turkey, fish out all the turkey out of the pot and allow to cool. Once cool, shred turkey by picking off the bones and pulling apart every piece. Set aside to add to each individual bowl.
  7. While waiting for chicken to cool, find garlic in pot and crush, with the side of a wooden spoon, into the soup.
  8. Dice 2 whole, ripe tomatoes into small pieces. Dice 1 serrano pepper (I cannot get fresh serranos where I live in Canada, so I use canned serrano peppers.) Add to the soup while continuing to let simmer. * Tip: Put remainder of can of serrano peppers into a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for subsequent uses.
  9. Add beer (the alcohol will evaporate), ground cumin, chili powder, other 2 lime leaves, and hot sauce to soup and continue to simmer.
  10. Once turkey is shredded for serving, take cornstarch in a small bowl and add same amount of cold water. Take a whisk to mix completely, then add to soup.* Tip: The cornstarch will thicken up the soup and will only reach it’s thickening power when the soup boils. If you boil it too much, the cornstarch will then lose it’s thickening power. So, as soon as the soup boils for about 1 min after adding cornstarch mixture (a slurry), turn it down/off.
  11. To prepare individual bowls for serving, add a good amount of shredded turkey, then add desired amount of soup. Garnish top of soup with baked tortilla/corn chips, low-fat shredded cheese and low-fat sour cream.
  12. Serve and enjoy!


I hope you enjoyed this Turkey recipe on Cooking With Kimberly! Until next time…

Eat Deliciously,

Kimberly Edwards 🙂

P.S. Be sure to Subscribe to this Blog!

[tags]turkey, soup, turkey soup, leftover turkey, tortilla soup, low fat recipe, Thanksgiving recipe, Christmas recipe, Tex-Mex recipe, Mexican recipe[/tags]

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com.

Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos.

Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications.

Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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  1. Well, it’s that time of year again to make this Temptin’ Turkey Tortilla Soup!

    Now, we sent home each and every visitor with turkey this year, but still had a ton left over and we’ve been making all sorts of fabulous meals with it…

    Now, I just broke the turkey up into white meat, dark meat, stuffing, bones for stock and scraps for the dogs and hedgehogs! Nothing goes to waste!

    This is one of my very favorite soups! Yum!

    Kimberly 🙂

    Post a Reply
  2. Okay…I experimented a bit more today…

    I added rice, beans and corn to the soup and it was fantastic!

    Loved this, as did everyone else!

    Kimberly 🙂

    Post a Reply
  3. I made this soup today and added some corn and some black beans to the soup! I also substituted the serrano pepper for jalapenos…

    Very versatile recipe…and delicious.

    Post a Reply


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