Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is one of my favorite recipes and although I originally posted this in September, here it is January 22 and I'm in the mood for some hot soup.  Today I'm linking up with A Simply Klassic Home and her new link party.  I've added Kristin's button to my side bar.  Check out her blog she's very clever.

One of my favorite cure-alls is Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Saturday, my husband and I decided if Autumn and cool weather isn't going to come to us, we would just have to go to it.  We decided that even though it was almost 90 degrees outside, inside it's after Labor Day, so Autumn is officially here.  Also, we are tired of Summer Salads. 

Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken - approximately 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken.   Saturday I used - 3 thighs and a leg (that's what I had in the freezer).  I think the dark meat is great in this soup. I sometimes bag up cooked chicken, freeze it, and save that to add to my soups.  If I had wanted to make this look beautiful I would have used chicken breast, cut up into perfect little bite size cubes.  

Oil - 3 or 4 Tablespoons for the whole recipe.  (I used canola on Saturday, I have used olive oil - it's up to you, the food police will not come to your door).

Salt and Pepper

1 cup of chopped onions

1 cup of chopped bell pepper

1 heaping Tablespoon of finely chopped garlic

I use a 2" Jalapeno pepper, but I just use half.  I slice it lengthwise, that way if I decide to remove the hot stuff it's easy to spot. Here's where I tell you WASH YOUR HANDS - you will be angry with me and yourself if you get the pepper on you. 

1/8 t. ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Chilpotle Chili Powder (this is my secret ingredient - guess it's not so secret anymore - it gives a smokey flavor and a kick to the soup.  You can use less - 1 teaspoon, I'm not trying to hurt anyone. You can also use 1 Tablespoon if you really like spicy food.)

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes

8 cups (2 quarts) of chicken broth  (I have put 10 cups of broth in, it's still good and flavorful.)

Tortilla Chips - 3/4 to 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips and tortilla chips for garnish

One lime

Sour Cream

Fresh Cilantro

How to Cook Chicken Tortilla Soup:

If you're starting with raw chicken season the meat with salt and pepper.

Using medium heat, warm soup pot for a couple of minutes, add 2 Tablespoons of oil, give it a minute then add chicken.  If the meat is chopped up, cook until meat is done then remove to a plate, this will keep the chicken from getting rubbery.  If the chicken is still on the bone, cook for about 7 minutes, turning it over a couple of times, then leave it in the pot to continue cooking.

Add a little more oil to the pot if the bottom of the pot looks 'dry.'

Add 1 cup of chopped onions and 1 cup of chopped bell pepper cook until onion becomes translucent. 

Add 1 heaping Tablespoon of finely chopped garlic and 1/2 a large jalapeno pepper.  Cook for a couple of minutes, stir often, you don't want to burn the garlic. 

Add Spices: 1/8 t. ground black pepper, 2 Teaspoons Chilpotle Chili Powder

Add 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes.

Cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add 8 cups (2 quarts) of chicken broth and bring to a boil, turn the heat down, put the lid on the pot and simmer 45 minutes.

Stir occasionally.

After simmering 45 minutes you're ready to add the precooked chicken or if you left the chicken on the bone, take it out of the soup now, take the meat off the bone and return the meat to the soup. 

I use forks to take the chicken off the bone.

Add 3/4 to 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips.  This thickens the soup, this is also where you get your salt.  If you don't add the chips you may want to add a little salt now, of course if you don't add the chips this isn't Chicken Tortilla Soup...

Stir to mix everything and cook for 3 more minutes then turn off the heat.  Soup is ready to eat.  It's very hot, you can wait 10 -20 minutes to eat it.  Your kitchen should smell very 'southwest-y."

To serve: 
Put a handful of tortilla chips in a soup bowl.

Add soup, squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice on top.  Top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves.

Start to finish is approximately 2 hours, if you can get someone to help you with the chopping it's even faster.  Enjoy!



Mary said...

Looks amazingly tasty but as I'm vegetarian do you think it would work without the chicken!

We LOVE soups and I make most of mine from scratch. Today, altho' still hot here too, I have a lovely fresh cauliflower awaiting and I'll be whipping up cream of cauli. soup for supper. MY secret ingredient for this one is nutmeg! Top with freshly made Asiago cheese chunky croutons - ummm, I'm ready for a taste of Autumn too.

Hugs - Mary

Ivy and Elephants said...

Oh thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is one of my all time favorite soups, (I could eat soup every day!). It seems easy to follow and pretty quick. I am going to try it for sure. Your new follower.
p.s. Mary, yours sounds good, too. Gotta remember that nutmeg!

catmint said...

now this recipe looks really appealing - thanks, I'm with Ivy and elephants, I could eat soup every day too.

Rebecca said...

Looks so good and makes me ready for fall food!

Rusty Hinge said...

Thank-you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving your sweet comment! I am so excited to try this soup! Thanks so much for sharing! Nothing like a warm bowl of soup on a wintery cold day!!

Kristin said...

Sounds like a great recipe - perfect for a yummy winter supper!

thanks for linking up at A Simply Klassic Home!

Jennifer said...

yum, yum, yum! It's been a cold and rainy day here and that soup looks SO good right now. I am always looking for new recipes so thanks for sharing this one :)

Stopping by from Simply Klassic Sundays.