Monday, October 10, 2016

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I think the best recipes I've ever created come from requests from Rem.  I am always asking him what sounds good to make because I work better within constraints- an ingredients, a cuisine, or even better, a specific dish.  This time he said Chicken Tortilla Soup sounded good, so I commenced my research and ended up with this warming, satisfying, perfect-for-fall soup.  

Chicken Tortilla Soup 

4 large chicken breasts
sprinkled with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
2 T olive oil
2 small red onions, chopped small
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/2 red pepper, diced small
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder 
about 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic (*I used freeze dried garlic that I buy at Kroger in the produce section- my favorite because I HATE cutting garlic.  I just estimate 3 cloves)
4 c (1 carton) chicken broth (*I used Simple Truth Organic broth, regular salted variety)
4 c water
28 oz. crushed tomatoes (*I used pomi brand in the carton)
1 small can green chiles
2 c frozen corn
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 c maseca (corn flour- *also bought at Kroger) 
+ enough milk or water to create a paste of sorts (you are going to drop this into the soup like dumplings)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c sour cream (optional, but delicious- you could use cream, milk, or plain yogurt instead, the idea is to add some creaminess)
juice of 1 lime

Bake chicken in an oiled glass dish at 400 degrees for 45 minutes (that's what worked well in my oven), OR prepare chicken however you normally do!  Another option is to use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.  If you are baking the chicken, let it cool for a few minutes when done, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute onions and peppers in olive oil.  After about 5 minutes, add spices EXCEPT garlic and saute until the veggies smell great and getting soft (10 minutes or so).  Add garlic and saute 3 minutes more.  Next add broth, water, tomatoes, chiles, corn, beans, and the chopped chicken.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.  At this point, stir together the maseca and water/milk by putting the maseca in a bowl, making a well, and then stirring while you add the water/milk until a thick paste forms and all of the flour is incorporated with the liquid.  Then drop by very small spoonfuls into the hot soup.  This will create dumplings of sorts!  Stir the dumplings around in the soup.  Simmer the soup for 20 min-1 hour.  The longer the simmer, the deeper the flavor, but ours was really delicious after only 20 minutes or so.  Once you've decided you're done simmering, take the soup off the heat and stir in the cilantro, sour cream, and lime juice.  Enjoy!  

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