The weather has just taken another cold turn. YES! One last chance for a warming and comforting soup! Bring on the wind and the rain. We can enjoy Spring later I have nothing against tulips and sproinging (yes, that’s a real word, and I love it, it is what lambs do), but with one last winter storm I am sure I will appreciate it that much more.
This soup is delicious, (would I post it if it wasn’t? Rhetorical question: of course not!) I am also posting this recipe because most everyone I know enjoys tortilla soup, but not many of us have a tried and true recipe in our repotoire. My friend Adele made this soup for an Ina Garden (AKA The Barefoot Contessa) themed cookbook club. Two of us immediately re-made the soup for our families, and both to rave reviews. I think Adele found a winner! Yay, Adele (and Ina)!
I had to twiddle with the original recipe a bit (I just can’t help myself). I added corn and black beans, plus I pureed part of the soup to make a thicker broth, which I enjoy, but you can totally skip the pureeing part if you want fewer steps, less mess, and still have a tasty, hearty soup.
So, without any further ado, here’s my version of Adele’s version of Ina’s Garten’s “Mexican Chicken Soup” (from Ina Garten’s 2006 book, “Barefoot Contessa at Home“).
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 4 cups cooked chicken,shredded or chopped (baked, grilled, or poached chicken breast &/or thighs, or shredded meat from a roasted chicken)
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions (brown or red, or a combo, 1 or 2)
- 1 cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)
- 2 -4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- 1 or 2 15-oz. cans black or pinquito beans (one of each is nice, too)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (about 4)
- approx. 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth (10 cups)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- approx. 1 tablespoon salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 6 small corn tortillas (approx. 6 inch diameter)
- for toppings (be SURE to include these!): lime wedges, chopped cilantro, grated jack and/or cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and crushed corn chips (optional)
- If cooking the chicken specifically for this recipe, sprinkle chicken thighs or breasts (or combo) with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, turn chicken over and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. (cooking time determined by how large the chicken pieces are and whether or not the chicken pieces have bones). Remove chicken from oven and when cool enough to handle, dice or shred and set aside. Discard bones and skin.
- Heat approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet.
- Add onions to hot oil in skillet. Saute onions until translucent, 5-8 minutes.
- Add celery and desired quantity of chopped jalapenos to onions and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic cloves and saute for another 30 seconds or so. Do not let the garlic brown.
- Remove approx one third of the onion-celery-jalapeno-garlic mixture and place in blender. Leave the remaining 2/3 in the pan.
- Add 1/3 of each can of beans to the blender (you can add one can of beans or two, depends on how you like your soup and how much fiber you want), along with enough of the crushed tomatoes to make a puree-able mixture (1/3 – 1/2 of the can). Whirl on high until mixture is pureed.
- In large stockpot heat the chicken broth, add the pureed mixture, the reserved onion-celery-jalapeno-garlic mixture, the chopped carrots, the drained and rinsed can(s) of bean(s),and the spices (cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper).
- Bring soup to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken and corn and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Cut tortillas into noodle-like strips. (Cut tortillas in half and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips.)
- Stir cut tortillas and chopped cilantro into soup and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken is heated through.
- Serve the soup hot, topped with lime wedges, chopped avocado, grated cheese, and crushed tortilla chips (if desired, and everyone I served this soup to, desired everything, including the crushed tortilla chips! The t-shirt people–my running addicted friends–added the most chips!!! LOL)