Chicken Tortilla Soup
A word before you begin.
Every single choice you make will alter the taste of the recipe.
- If you grill four ears of corn and slice off the kernels instead of using a bag of frozen corn.
- If you grill your own chili peppers, peel and dice them instead of opening a jar of salsa Verde.
- If you sprinkle corn chips on top of the soup instead of slicing fresh tortillas and baking them to crispness.
All these choices are yours, and the soup can taste really good or totally excellent. I leave it up to your free time, and level of commitment. That said, this is a mild soup that great spice can feel at home within. If you want to add chipotle with some adobo sauce, have at it. I wrote this as I prepared it and it is suitable for milder audiences. I have a variety of hot sauces in my home and they work well with the finished product. So, here is the way to my humble pot of soup. The finished dish will give you nearly five quarts of deliciousness.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- One large diced yellow onion
- Three large diced shallots
- A red, yellow and orange pepper, diced
- Two dived cloves of garlic
- 3 uncooked chicken breasts
- 1 small can, or tube, of tomato paste (I prefer sun dried tomato paste but it’s hard to find)
- 1 large jar of Salsa Verde, or four small cans of green chilies, OR five fresh roasted chilies
- 4 ears of corn, shucked, grilled and sliced off the cob
- 3 quarts of vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 quart of water
- 2 cans of black beans
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
Add These Optional Toppings
- Sour cream
- Marinated, sliced jalapeños
- Cilantro (I detest it but others seem to love it)
- Diced avocado
- A spritz of fresh lime is mighty nice, too!
- Dice the onion, shallots, garlic and peppers.
- Saute until all veggies are softened and lightly colored. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the spices to the vegetables.
- Stir for a minute until the spices become fragrant.
- Add 1 small can, or tube, of tomato paste or sun dried tomato paste if you could find it.
- Stir until everything is coated and keep stirring for about a minute.
- When the raw tomato scent dissipates, place three uncooked chicken breasts on top of the mixture in the pot. You don’t need to season the chicken, as it will poach in the very well spiced pot
- Add the Salsa Verde, or four small cans of green chilies, OR five fresh roasted chilies
- Add 4 ears of corn, shucked, grilled and sliced off the cob
- Add 3 quarts of vegetable or chicken stock
- Add 1 quart of water
- Simmer on low heat, with the pot covered, for 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally, as the corn is starchy and might stick to the bottom of the pot if left for too long.
- After 1.5 hours add 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained. Cook to heat through, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred using two forks. Return the meat to the pot.
Crisp tortilla strips are great to stir into the soup or lay on top. If you prefer, you can cut them into wedges and dip them into the hearty soup. You can buy some packaged corn chips or Doritos but again, the flavor isn’t as fresh, and you can’t control the salt or additives.
- Corn Tortillas
- Slice corn tortillas
- Arrange on a baking try and spray them lightly with vegetable oil
- Sprinkle, sparingly, with salt and pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees
- Shake the pan once during cooking