Turkey Pinole Soup


Last fall we bought an extra turkey —we love turkey and can’t figure out why we don’t eat it all year round.  This week we cooked it because it’s been so cold and rainy that the idea of a warm oven and turkey aromas sounded cozy and appealing.  The day after turkey-roasting came the stock-making ritual, and we awoke to another rainy chilly day so I was doubly glad to have a that flame and good smell in the kitchen all day long as it simmered.


Scott has been making pinole lately and eating it as a breakfast cereal.  But when the third cold and rainy day in a row came along he tried an experiment…using turkey stock to make the pinole.  Hearty and warm, it was the perfect start to the day.  I then began to think about a soup and this is what unfolded.


Lightly toast the masa in the oven to make the pinole.


Pinole is toasted masa harina, which is a dried field corn that has been soaked in ‘slaked’ lime (calcium hydroxide) then ground into a fine flour.

Nixtamalization (or nixtamalli in the Aztec language Nahuatl) is the process of adding the alkaline lime to corn.  It was developed in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, most likely started by women adding fire ashes (also highly alkaline) to the soaking corn.  It is an amazing step that unlocks numerous nutrients such as calcium and protein, enabling them to be more easily absorbed.  The process also reduces the mycotoxins produced by molds.

See more at the Nourishing Gourmet and Wikipedia.  Ooo and here is another.


Make a batch of pinole and use it in a warm cereal or a cold drink!  Those will definitely be another recipe post….



Turkey Pinole Soup

Prep Time:  5 minutes toasting masa, 10 minutes for the soup prep   Cook Time: 15 minutes

This is a small batch.


Saute in a small pot:

2/3 cup White Onion, diced

Olive Oil (or your favorite kind of oil)


2/3 cup Turkey, cooked and chopped

1 1/2 cups Turkey Stock

1/4 cup Pinole

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt (depending on if the Stock is salted or not)

1/4 teaspoon New Mexico Chili, ground

pinch of Cinnamon

pinch of Oregano

Simmer 10 minutes.


1/2 cup Greens, chopped (Spinach, Mustard Greens, Kale, etc.)

Turn off the heat so the greens do not overcook. 

Served in bowls topped with:

Fresh Lime Juice



Additional ingredient ideas:

Pinto Beans

Feta Cheese or Queso Fresco


This spoon by Frank Wright and bowl by Karen Misseldine make their way into a lot of these photos…





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