Tasty and healthy turkey taco soup and 10 top tips for roadtrippers


Turkey taco soup with tortillas, avocado and sour cream
This very easy, healthy and absolutely delicious turkey taco soup was inspired by a lunch we had on the last day of our American road trip in the little San Francisco bay town Sausalito after thoroughly photographing the Golden Gate and ourselves from all angles and a drive around the Marin Headlands. Husband had had quite enough of my driving by then, so I was able to have a lovely fresh margarita. With my tequila I had a chicken taco soup which was really lovely with lots of vegetables, shredded chicken and those fantastic Cal-Mex flavours.

Our road trip was quite brilliant, but it was the first holiday of that kind for us so there were some hairy moments useful learnings that I thought I’d share so that anyone planning a similar adventure can avoid some of the pitfalls, disappointments and moments of tension we experienced.

10 top tips for an American road trip

  1. Be aware of mobility incompatibilities between travelling companions, i.e if you are married to the world’s slowest moving particle and you’re of slightly impatient constitution, you might want to consider other holidaying formats. But whatever you do, do not rush him, because he will just shut down and pull into his shell much like the tortoise whose speed he successfully emulates and you will definitely not make it to the pool in your new fake tan at the swanky Las Vegas Casino.
  2. If you agree with your travelling companions to take a hop-on hop-off open-top bus tour, make sure travelling companions understand that like the name suggests this includes open-top busses and hopping on and hopping off before you spend $200 on the tickets. 
  3. If you are planning to visit Grand Canyon make sure the travelling companions know it is not Monument Valley or Antelope slot canyon, but just a “hole in the ground” to avoid disappointment amongst those of the group who clearly must have seen some bloody impressive holes in the ground not to be impressed by this one. 
  4. If you get lost in Mojave desert… Actually, don’t get lost in Mojave desert. But if you do get lost in the mind blowingly large Mojave Desert, blame it on the husband for extra fun. When you are literally dying of starvation and husband is considering eating his own children and you finally find a grumpy, wizened man and you think he says 18 miles to next stop with food, it's actually 80. Miles.  
  5. Steel yourself to the fact that public parking costs $20 pretty much anywhere in LA and don’t do a prolonged bitch about it every time to the parking attendants and your wife, because surprisingly none of them gives a shit. They all want to be on the beach photographing their toes for social media rather than in a garage discussing the unfairness of parking policies in large cities.
  6. The squirrels up at Big Sur are really tame and cute and don't mind a bit of chilli in their pistachios.
  7. Don't lock your children in the car at 40C temperatures. American cars have some kind of annoying alarm system which will set the horn blowing when the children start to bang on the doors from the inside. Very embarrassing.
  8. Yucca Valley sounds exciting, but is not. Even the town residents with defeated looks on their melancholy faces admitted: “We’re a pretty boring town”.
  9. If you want to walk from Fisherman's wharf to Golden Gate, take into account that the distance is about 94 miles.
  10. Americans may occasionally come and talk to you even if you don't know them. They may even speak to you in a lift, sorry elevator. One extreme older lady came knocking at our car window to ask HOWDEEDOO, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR SANTA FE? At first I thought it was the throat-biting and wall-climbing Gladys from the horror film Legion. But it wasn't. It was just someone who was thinking of buying a Hyundai Santa Fe and wanted to know what we thought of the car. So don't be frightened. All this effervescence is hard for us reserved Northern Europeans, but they are not dangerous or mentally ill. It must have to do with their fearless pioneering past.

Squirrel in Big Sur eating a pistachio nut
This little feller has more balls than husband when it comes to spicy food
Grand Canyon from South Rim
It's a magnificent hole in the ground but they really should build a gondola thingy to get you to the bottom. 
Mojave desert Joshua trees
Mojave Desert is a vast area with lots of sand and Joshua Trees and very little food or fuel
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco seen from Marin Headlands
There are people with slight obsession with this bridge and  they seem to need to photograph it from all possible angles. Repeatedly saying to them "It's just a bridge" is not going to make any difference so you might as well just go with it.

Easy turkey taco soup (server 4-6)

A healthy and easy recipe for a Cal-Me  turkey taco soupn

400g boneless turkey breast cut into strips
1 red onion
2 small carrots
1 cob of corn
1 red or yellow bell pepper
215g can red kidney beans (or black beans)
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock 
pinch of crushed chilli
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground onion
2 tsp ground garlic
Zest and juice of a lime

Chopped spring onion
Sour cream
Fried tortillas cut into strips
Fresh cilantro

Heat some oil in a frying pan. Season the turkey strips with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Fry on high heat until browned.

Chop the red onion and cut the carrots and peppers in strips. Cut the carrot quite thinly so that it will cook at the same time as everything else. Remove the corn kernels from the cob. Add all ingredients apart from the beans and turkey in a deep saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until vegetables are done, about 15 min. 

Add the beans and turkey and cook for another couple of minutes until the turkey is cooked through. Check seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed. 

Prepare the toppings. Fry tortillas lightly on a dry frying pan on both sides and cut into strips or triangles. Cube the avocado and put everything in little bowls ready to sprinkle on top of the soup. 

Enjoy with a bottle of Corona or a Margarita.

You Might Also Like