Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This chill in the air doesn't seem to want to go away. In order to combat that chill, I will continue to make soups--and delicious soups at that.

I tend to give in to what other people say are the trends of the time. Not sure why that is, but doesn't everyone have a desire to be trendy? I mean, I bought an iPhone when it was only in it's second generation. I wear chambray shirts and big statement necklaces. I've been trying to experiment with bold lipsticks. I drink almond milk here and there. There's a good chance I'll be drinking an extra-hot triple grande skinny vanilla latte once or twice a week. Whatever, guys. I'm not embarrassed. 

I feel like, in the soup world of trendy, Chicken Tortilla Soup is up there on the "things it's cool to eat right now" list. 

Well, since it's totally in right now, I knew I had to try my hand at this soup. It has all the elements of an amazing's kind of like a taco and a soup combined. TWO OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!!

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is so delicious that leftovers didn't even last a day around the apartment. It is colorful both in the way it looks but also in taste. It has just the right amount of spicy and earthy goodness. Yellow corn adds a natural sweetness while black beans are creamy and rustic. A little bit of crunch from celery seals the deal on texture. Rich, hearty, warm, flavorful--who said 20 degree weather can't be fun?!

It's pretty simple to pull this meal together. We start with chopped sweet onions and celery, cooked in a large pot until soft and translucent.

Lean chicken breast is cut into cubes then seasoned with a Mexican blend (taco seasoning would also work). I browned the chicken right in the same pot as the vegetables, which helps get the spiciness of the Mexican blend distributed throughout the whole pot of soup. Yum!

From here, a can of rinsed black beans, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (not condensed*), 1 can low-sodium chicken broth, and 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes are stirred into the pot. I added about a cup of frozen corn and a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro before bringing the pot to a boil.

The soup is then covered and simmers for about 30 minutes; this is when all the flavors are getting to know each other and blending together to make a big pot of deliciousness.

While the soup simmers, I prepared the garnishes--which, in a way, are the most important part of the soup. Three corn tortillas, sliced into strips, get baked at 375 degrees until crispy and golden brown on the edges.

These get broken into pieces, about an inch long. I definitely suggest making your chips out of the corn tortillas -- they are a little more sturdy than the flour tortillas. Plus the get crispier and have a better texture in the soup.

An avocado is cut and diced. The avocado is an amazing way to cool down the palette from the spiciness in the soup. The flavor isn't too strong, but the slight sweetness is just divine.

A little extra cilantro and freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese wrap up this party. Because, I mean, why not?

Once the soup is ready, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add extra black pepper or Mexican seasoning if you really like a spicy bowl of soup.

Finally, it's time to eat! Line the bottom of each bowl with a few pieces of tortilla. Add a couple of generous ladle-fuls of the soup, then top with the cheese, avocado, cilantro, and more tortilla pieces. Feel free to allow each person to add more cheese or tortillas if they please.

This soup was a home run. I will definitely be keeping it in my dinner rotation for a good while. I hope you will, too!

Here's what you need for Chicken Tortilla Soup (Print Recipe!)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Mexican Blend Seasoning (or spicy taco seasoning)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 14.5 oz cans cream of chicken soup
1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
3 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
1 avocado, diced
 Extra cilantro and grated cheddar cheese, for garnish

Here's what you do

Season the chicken with the Mexican Blend seasoning and set aside.

In a 5-quart stock pot, head the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken and cook until all sides are browned. Add in the tomatoes, beans, soup, broth, and corn. Stir to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil then reduce heat to low. Stir in the cilantro and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, bake the tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet at 375 degree for about 10 minutes (just until crispy and golden on the edges). Break into smaller pieces.

To serve, place a few pieces of tortilla on the bottom of the bowls. Ladle soup over the tortillas. Top with cheese, avocado pieces, tortilla pieces and extra cilantro. Serve immediately!

*If using condensed soup, you may wish to add a can or two of water to thin out the soup a bit.

Besides avocados, a dollop of low-fat sour cream can be added for garnish to cool the palette!

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

No comments:

Post a Comment