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January 11, 2012

Recipe for chipotle turkey, black bean and corn soup


My best soups spring not from recipes, or even from intention, but from my inner frugal neat-freak. I'll bet you didn't know I had one of those, but I do. She periodically hauls out bits and remnants from the fridge and freezer, and tosses them into a soup pot. These "fridge dumps" might start out looking like the compost pile, but with a tweak here and some herbs and spices there, they become, without fail, the creations I wish I could recreate. With this chipotle turkey, black bean and corn soup, I sensed right from the beginning that it would be good, so I kept notes as I was making it. What I didn't know is just how good it would be. The secret ingredient, the tail end of a jar of homemade chipotle barbecue sauce, was a gift from Just One Donna!, a fellow Rhode Island blogger; any smoky barbecue sauce, plus a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo (or two, if you like it hot), will give you the sweet-hot undertone that makes this soup one of the greats.

Chipotle turkey, black bean and corn soup

Serves 8-10.


2 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1 small onion, chopped
2 oz canned diced green chiles (mild)
1 cup chipotle barbecue sauce, or 1 cup smoky barbecue sauce + 1-2 chopped chipotle peppers in adobo
15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup roasted corn kernels (I use Trader Joe's)
1 cup canned tomato
3 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought (I use 99% fat-free when I use store-bought)
10 shakes of green (jalapeño) Tabasco
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: sour cream, cilantro leaves, strips of toasted tortillas


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil, and brown the turkey over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the turkey is browned, add the onion and green chiles, and stir for 1 minute.

Stir in the barbecue sauce, beans, corn, tomato and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Season with green Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish individual portions with sour cream, cilantro leaves or strips of toasted tortillas. Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Shirley @ gfe | January 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Oh, Lydia, some of your posts make me so happy and "kill me" at the same time! This is one of those posts! LOL Seriously, this soup looks incredibly good. Perfect for today's weather, too. :-)

Posted by: pam | January 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

This is wonderful! I always have little bits of barbeque sauce left in jars!!

Posted by: Ginger | January 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM

Soup looks one I might want to try, could you elaborate on "one cup canned tomato", tomato what?

Posted by: Lydia | January 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM

Shirley, of all the soups I've made recently, this has to be one of my favorites. Try it -- you'll love it!

Pam, me too, and that smoky-sweet flavor of the BBQ sauce really took this soup over the top.

Ginger, because this is a "fridge dump" soup, you can use canned chopped or whole tomatoes.

Posted by: susan from food blogga | January 11, 2012 at 02:13 PM

I just made a kitchen-dump soup on Monday. I put mushrooms, kale, onions, and pinto beans. It was sooo good and fun. I'm all about the no-recipe soups.

Posted by: Just One Donna | January 11, 2012 at 03:08 PM

Lydia, this is my kind of soup. Why is it I never thought to use the chipotle bbq sauce in a soup? There is no excuse...Thanks for this recipe. I have some of the bbq sauce in the freezer.

Posted by: Lydia | January 11, 2012 at 09:14 PM

Susan, your soup sounds delicious. I love the no-recipe soups, too. But I've learned to take notes as I go, in case I want to make them again -- or share them here!

Donna, your bbq sauce took this soup over the top. Thank you. I'm only sad that I used the last of my jar and now have to make more. Thanks for publishing the recipe on your blog.

Posted by: Judy | January 11, 2012 at 11:10 PM

I am all over this! I have been making soup a lot lately (including your butternut squash and apple soup - yum - and your rotisserie chicken stock recipe). I am getting stuck in a sweet potato/squash/coconut milk rut - so this very different flavor profile is perfect. First, though, I think I will try your fridge-dump approach - I have a lot of veggies that need to be used very soon!

Posted by: Lydia | January 11, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Judy, be fearless, and have fun with your dump! Remember -- good use of herbs and spices can bring together almost any combination of ingredients.

Posted by: CJ McD | January 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM

Oh...that recipe sounds REALLY good..... Perfect for football weekends.

Posted by: Lydia | January 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

CJ, this is a great game day soup that will appeal to every fan.

Posted by: Angie | January 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

This sounds so good! I'm in a freezer meal group; do you think this soup would freeze well? What about in a crockpot?

Posted by: Lydia (Soup Chick) | January 19, 2013 at 07:57 PM

Angie, this freezes very well. And, do you mean can you cook it in a crockpot? Yes -- but don't freeze it in one!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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