Cold winter wind, you howled at me, hard, as I rode my bike down Walnut Street. You pushed and persisted, biting at the tiny tips of my ears until I became numb to the pain. You made my eyes tear and my nose turn a deep, desperate red.
But I still made it home.
I gasped a little when I came inside. My hands could barely feel as I locked up the poor, frozen bones of my bike; and my bones, too, were just as frozen as its steel frame. I shuffled to the apartment door. What miserable creatures we were then, bike and I. What could fix this wild chill?
For the fortunate human it was turkey soup. As the wind groaned its warnings outside, I was safe and finally warm, stirring a huge pot full of spicy chiles, steaming broth, and plump turkey meat. Moments later, I thanked Winter for being what it is; and for giving reason for hot bowls of soup, filled to the brim, and eaten slowly in front of the brightly light Christmas tree.
Ingredients: recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine4 dried Ancho chiles, or 3 fresh hot chiles, chopped
2 T. canola oil
1.5 cups chopped Spanish onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. hot sauce
1 T. chile powder
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. paprika
1.5 t. dried oregano
4 cups water
4 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 - 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups leftover shredded cooked Turkey breast
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping
Optional: chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chile peppers and onions and cook 6 minutes until soft and golden. Add garlic and stir, 1 minute. Stirring constantly, add the chile powder, cayenne, paprika, and oregano and cook 2 minutes, then add the water, broth, corn, and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in the turkey and heat through, 2 minutes, then salt and pepper to taste and serve topped with shredded cheese.