Did you know when you enjoy a turkey sandwich from SUBWAY® or Jimmy John’s®, it’s more than 80 percent likely the turkey in your sandwich came from Iowa? The Iowa turkey industry is incredibly important to our state, adding significant economic activity and creating employment in rural Iowa (www.iowaturkey.org).

As we work to honor farmers in our Friday family recipe posts, I couldn’t think of anyone more fitting to feature this month than the turkey producers who help feed our families and put a delicious turkey on the table at Thanksgiving.

Turkey is a fitting meal for just about any occasion and any day of the week.  So now that the weather is getting a little cooler, I’m going to add Becke Dorenbush’s Southwestern Turkey Soup to my list of “go to” meals. My mouth was watering just looking over the ingredients, so I can’t wait to give it a try.  Even better, it’s low in calories and fat (something I wish I could say for all of my favorite winter recipes). Becke also recommends this soup as a great dish to accompany football festivities, so perhaps this year I can serve it on Soup-er Bowl Sunday. (Hope you’ll forgive my bad pun here, but I couldn’t resist!)

I’m also looking forward to making Rich Hogrefe’s recipe, “Shoot the Turkey.” This recipe is named so because you inject the marinade to “shoot the turkey” with great flavor. With butter and garlic, it can’t help but be good!

Be sure to stay tuned for next Friday’s post when we feature more recipes from proud Iowa turkey farmers. A special thank you to the Iowa Turkey Federation for providing the following recipes submitted by their members.  Bon appétit!

Southwestern Turkey Soup

Recipe from: Becke Dorenbush, Jewell, Iowa

Becke & Mark Dorenbush

Makes 10 servings.


  • 6 cups turkey OR chicken broth
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 to 3 cups frozen whole kernel corn


1. Wash hands.

2. In large Dutch oven combine all the ingredients except the frozen corn.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Stir in frozen corn and return mixture to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the corn is tender.

Serve with: coarsely crushed tortilla chips and Mexican shredded cheese over soup.

Some Fun Turkey Facts:

  • Economic value per turkey is about $20.00. (Farm – processing)
  • Yearly, all of Iowa’s turkeys will eat about 62,000 acres of corn and 69,000 acres of soybeans.
  • A female turkey is called a hen and a male turkey is called a tom. Toms and hens are raised separately. Most Iowa turkey growers raise toms.

Shoot the Turkey



  • ½ cup margarine
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon garlic juice
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 (16 to 24 pound) whole turkey, fresh or frozen (thawed)



1. Wash hands.  Remove giblets and neck; reserve for stock or discard.

2. In medium saucepan melt the margarine.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the turkey.  Heat to lukewarm.

3. Using an injector, inject marinade into all parts of the turkey.  Place turkey in large, turkey-sized plastic oven bag.  Wash hands.  Refrigerate overnight.

4. Place turkey, breast side up, on a wire roasting rack in shallow pan with approximately 2-inch sides.  Roast turkey in a preheated 325ºF. oven for 3 ¾ to 5 hours (depending on weight).

5. The turkey is done when the thermometer reaches 180ºF. in the deepest part of the thigh and 170ºF in the thickest part of the breast.

6. Remove turkey from oven.  Allow turkey to rest, covered, for 20 minutes before carving.

Make ahead tip:  Roast turkey 2 – 3 weeks in advance.  Shingle turkey slices in a shallow layer in a roasting pan.   Cover it with the reserved strained pan drippings and freeze it.  When ready to serve, reheat the turkey at 325º F. in an electric roaster for a couple of hours or until it reaches 165º F.


Recipe submitted by Rich Hogrefe in memory of Don Eaton, Albert City, Iowa.

Makes 16 – 24 servings (1 pound turkey per person)