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
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.
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."
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!