This is a recipe for soup, but really it’s a plea to use your Instant Pot to make stock. I am going to be honest with you: most things you can make in the Instant Pot work just as well in a regular old pot on the stove. The Instant Pot (sometimes, not always) makes these processes faster and more convenient. But there are very few things the Instant Pot does better than a regular pot on the stove. Stock is one of those things.

Stock goes a lot faster in the Instant Pot, and it doesn’t get your house all steamy. The pot also produces a richer, more flavorful stock that squeezes everything out of any flavorings you add. This is true whether you’re making vegetable stock or chicken stock or beef stock or, here, a turkey stock that makes the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers.

The recipe below makes more citrusy stock than the soup requires. Freeze the remainder and use it to cook rice, grits, gumbo, chili, or any number of other soup recipes. Use it as the stock in my Instant Pot recipes for Texas-style chili, pozole, chicken and dumplings, or chicken cider green chiliOr use it as I do here, in a chipotle-infused tortilla soup base just waiting for your favorite toppings.

Photograph by Jenn Hair

Smoky Citrus Instant Pot Turkey Tortilla Soup

For the stock:
Leftover bones from 1 turkey, cut into pieces if necessary to fit in the Instant Pot
1 orange, cut in half
1 lime, cut in half
6–8 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
1 onion, cut in half and peeled
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
1 jalapeño, cut lengthwise
1 sprig fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
6 black peppercorns
1 bunch cilantro stems (reserve leaves for soup garnish)
Water

For the soup:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1 teaspoon cumin
1 2.5-ounce can chipotle en adobo, roughly chopped, with its sauce

1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups leftover turkey meat, diced into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes:
Crisped corn tortilla strips (see note) or corn tortilla chips
Lime wedge

Chopped cilantro leaves
Crumbled cotija cheese
Diced avocado
Sour cream

  1. First, make the stock: add turkey bones, orange, lime, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, oregano, peppercorns, and cilantro stems to the Instant Pot. Make sure nothing is sticking up over the max fill line on the inside of the pot; remove some bones if necessary. Fill with water to the max fill line. Set on high pressure for 30 minutes. 
  2. While the stock is going, start the soup. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for a minute more. Add the cumin and chipotle and sauté for one more minute until very fragrant. Add the tomatoes and turkey, stir, and turn heat to low.
  3. Set a mesh strainer over the soup pot. Release the steam from the Instant Pot manually once the 30 minutes are up, open the lid, and use a ladle to pour about 4 cups of stock through the strainer and into the soup pot. (Most soup ladles hold ½ cup liquid, so 8 ladles. But you don’t have to be fussy with it, just add stock till it looks good.) Season to taste with salt (about 2 teaspoons) and pepper (about 1 teaspoon). Strain the rest of the stock and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
  4. Serve with garnishes of your choosing.

Note: To crisp tortilla strips, cut fresh corn tortillas into strips. Heat a generous few tablespoons of cooking oil in a sauté pan and add tortillas. Cook until crisped and slightly darker, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the strips onto a paper-towel-lined plate.