Thursday, October 02, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ever wonder what to do with leftover chicken? Need a meal that gives you some warmth in these cooler autumn evenings? Chicken Tortilla Soup to the rescue! In the past, we’ve made good use of leftover chicken by making burritos or pot pies or chicken salad sandwiches. We’ve also made some soups before - but never this south of the border spicy soup!

Again, most of our recipes are to taste, so taste as you go and add spices when necessary. If you don't have all the spices, so be it... substitute something else or just leave it out.

Sweat 1 medium chopped onion in some olive oil over med low heat for about 10 minutes until translucent – no browning! Add 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook a couple minutes more. Add 8 cups of chicken broth along with at least 2 cups shredded cooked chicken and a 28oz can diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Add the following spices: 1 tbsp dried cilantro (not coriander – and if you have fresh cilantro add a handful at the end of cooking), 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp Mexican oregano, 1/4 tsp ground chipotle, the juice of 2-3 limes and some salt and pepper of course! Let that simmer for 20 minutes to get the chicken infused with all the flavors.... then add about 16oz of corn and 32 oz of rinsed canned black beans. Let that come back up to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

To serve, place some tortilla chips in the bottom of your bowl and ladle the soup on top. Garnish with some fresh cilantro, sour cream, cheese or avocado. The chips will get soggy and starch (and salt) up the soup nicely... Reserve some chips for crisp dipping too! If you have the time, instead of chips, you can slice up some soft corn tortillas and fry up some strips in canola oil for a fresh and crunchy garnish. Cheers to a new life for leftover chicken!