While some people don’t think of the warmer months as soup season, I can’t help turning the stuff away just because the thermometer rises. I just cook different kinds of soups than I do in the winter months! Lighter fare, full of good things – like veggies, and beans. Enter, Chicken Tortilla Soup. I still have a stockpile of whole chickens from my dad that I’ve been trying to use (there will no doubt be another 10 chickens soon to follow!) and making homemade chicken stock and soup is always my favorite thing to do with the small fryers.
Now, there are differing approaches to tortilla soup. Some recipes called for adding the uncooked tortillas right in the soup – which is okay. But, I kind of wanted them slightly crunchy. And, toasting anything totally brings out the flavor more – always a good thing.
So I did the soup on it’s own, then fried up some tortilla strips and served the soup on a few strips of those. They softened up, and released their tortilla-ey goodness into the soup, but still retained a slight crunch. I kept the ingredient list fairly simple. Chicken, black beans, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and corn – all in a delicious seasoned chicken broth. We all really enjoyed it. It was a meal that filled us up, without weighing us down. And, leftovers were great all week long!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
3 cups shredded chicken
8 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup corn kernels, thawed
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper
fresh cilantro, chopped
sliced jalapeno, for garnish
sliced avocado, for garnish
8, 6-inch tortillas, cut into strips and fried (or store-bought tortilla chips)
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven. Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano – cook for an additional minute until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, and cook stirring frequently, until tomato paste is starting to darken. Slowly add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil.
Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn, and salt. Stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, add a small handful of tortilla strips to the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup onto tortilla strips. Garnish soup with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, and a few more tortilla strips.