I love soup, and chicken tortilla soup is one of the best! This is the perfect time of year to make soup, and as I had just made a whole chicken the day before (rustic roasted chicken), I had the perfect opportunity not only to make chicken tortilla soup, but also to make my own stock for the soup. No worries if you don’t have your own homemade stock, store bought chicken broth or stock will do just fine. And if your wondering what the difference is, or how to make your own, see my earlier post from this week.
This soup was soooo good. While still working on his first bowl, Nate asked me if there was more. I said he had to work on what he had in front of him, then he can think about seconds (sometimes I feel like a mother, though I have no actual children). And he did. And he devoured it all. I loved the addition of the cornmeal to this soup, not only adding a little more heft, but also a slightly sweet corn flavor. As always, adjust the vegetables to what you have in your kitchen – I used frozen bell peppers I had leftover from our wedding reception. Also, adjust the heat to your liking. The original recipe doesn’t call for any chilis, but I have a ton frozen from my garden over the summer, and threw in two jalapeno and one Serrano pepper. It added a great amount of heat, without over powering the flavor of the soup. This is an excellent wintertime comfort food and would be fantastic for entertaining. Just set up a bunch of accoutrements for everyone to make their own creation!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper (I used a mixture of yellow, red and orange), diced
3 jalapeno or Serrano chilis (completely omit or adjust for little to no heat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1-10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
32 oz low sodium chicken broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups water
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained (I used dried black beans, cooked, about 3 cups)
3 tbsp cornmeal
5 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2-3 inches
1. Heat one tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, crushed red pepper and salt. Cook until spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, water and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered.
3. Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water, then pour into soup. Simmer for 30 minutes longer. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Turn of heat and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. 5 minutes before serving, add tortilla strips. Serve and garnish as desired (avocado, cilantro, cheese, onions, sour cream, etc.).