I'm always on the lookout for a good soup recipe. This time of year, I tend to make soup on Sundays. I do this for a couple of reasons. First of all, the as the days get shorter, I burn out earlier. It's quite a phenomena. Not having to think about dinner on a Tuesday or Wednesday night is a real gift. I tend to like soup even more the second time around. I'm not a fan of leftovers, but soup is an exception. Another reason why I like to make soup on a Sunday, is because football makes dinner planning difficult. Actually, it makes planning anything difficult. As you might guess by that remark, I am not a fan. Paul is. Enough said.
This Mexican chicken soup has become one of my absolute favorites. It's got a spicy kick, it's hardy, and its just plain good. Oh, and I forgot, it's easy to make. Once again, I bow down to Ina Garten for coming up with this creation.
Mexican Chicken Soup
Slightly adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home 2006, Ina Garten
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts
- olive oil
- chipotle pepper
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 28 ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, in puree - crushed (or squished)
- 2 long hot peppers or jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 6 fresh corn tortillas, cut into strips
- corn tortillas cut in half, then 1/2 inch strips (1/2 tortilla per bowl of soup), fried in canola oil
- 1 diced avocado
- sour cream
- chopped cilantro
1. Place chicken breast in a baking pan. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and chipotle pepper. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until done.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the chopped onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Saute for 10 minutes over medium heat until onions begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and peppers, cook another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, tomatoes with puree, cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and cilantro. Heat until warm. Add the fresh tortilla strips (they will slightly thicken the soup) and bring to a boil. Once soup reaches a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. While soup is simmering, shred or cut the chicken into chunks. Add the chicken to the heated soup and correct the seasoning.
Heat canola oil, enough to cover the bottom of a frying pan, add tortilla strips and fry until golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle immediately with salt.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Top with crispy corn strips, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and enjoy!