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Picadillo Soup

This unusual soup is based on the traditional Latin one-meal dish that customarily stuffs tacos, tamales, empanadas, and poblano peppers--traditionally is served at Mexican weddings--and now is being used in the southwestern United States to stuff Thanksgiving turkeys. It's definitely a waker-upper as a soup, best served in small portions as an appetite stimulant. Serve hot to 6 people as a first course.

Garnish: 1/2 cup almond pieces, sauteed and toasted in 1 teaspoon butter

Brown the meat and onions in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the garlic after the meat is brown, then add the stock, reserved tomato juice, and all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle the soup into festive bowls and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.