Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tortilla Soup All Up in Your Face

Tortilla Soup isn't just my mother-in-law's favorite movie, it's also a soup, and when the cold wind blows through your uninsulated 1800s-era home, it's a welcome wintertime meal.  Growing up, Ma and Pa Gastro opted for pozole and/or chile verde, so I had little experience with the movie soup in my own kitchen.  I did make a shitty batch of it in the early 2000s, but that was so two thousand and late, so I decided to make it again, and this time it was two thousand and great.  I recommend you try it for yourself.  It was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and there was plenty left over to get out of cooking on Sunday.  Recipe after the jump.  Buen provecho.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Googling the words "tortilla" and "soup"

2 whole chicken breasts, bone-in (boneless is fine and probably easier)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
28 oz. can black beans or the beans of your choice, drained
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
5 oz. can of chopped green chiles
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
Diced avocado, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, and cilantro for garnish

Combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Rub all over chicken breasts, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a 375 degree oven until done, 25-30 minutes.  While chicken bakes, saute peppers and onions in vegetable oil in a dutch oven or whatever pot you use to make soup.  When onions are translucent, add beans, tomatoes, chiles, and stock.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.  At this point, chicken should be done.  Add it to the pot and shred it with two forks.  Then add crushed tortilla strips and tomato paste to give it some backbone.  Simmer it for another 15-20 minutes, and if you want, add heavy cream at the end.  Then let it sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare your garnishes.  Serve with heaps of cilantro, the rest of the garnishes, and more tortilla chips. Watching Tortilla Soup while eating is optional.

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