Monday, August 16, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients to stew chicken:
3 split chicken breasts (with skin and bone)
2 to 3 carrots
2 to 3 celery ribs
1 onion, quartered
6 to 8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place the chicken breasts in a pot with carrots, celery, and onion. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover with water, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for one to two hours, or until chicken is very tender.

Remove chicken pieces to a platter, and let it cool a bit, then shred (discarding skin and bones). Set a strainer over a large bowl, and pour stock with vegetables into strainer. Discard the vegetables. Pour the stock back into the pot. Add the shredded chicken to stock.

Additional soup ingredients:
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (with its liquid)
1 15.5 ounce can black beans (rinsed well)
1 15.5 ounce can white hominy (drained)
1 cup frozen corn
2 Tablespoons chicken soup base
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 corn tortillas (tear into strips or small pieces)

Add all of above additional ingredients to stock and chicken. Stir gently to combine, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes to an hour.

Ladle into bowls, and top with:
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
sliced avocado
sour cream

My note: The flavor of this is like my favorite restaurant tortilla soup. Though I haven't had a restaurant version around here that included the beans, corn, or hominy, I wanted to add some fiber/texture and stretch the servings. Usually the restaurant versions use fried strips of tortillas added while plating, but I didn't want the extra step or oil, so I just added the torn tortillas to the soup while cooking to incorporate the tortilla flavor.

If you are really organized and/or watching your fat intake, you can cook the chicken one day, refrigerate the stock overnight, and skim the congealed fat from the top of the stock before reheating and continuing to make soup.