Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have wanted to make Chicken Tortilla Soup for a really long time, and I'm not really sure why I haven't until today. I guess I've got lots of favorite soups and stews, and I just picked one of those before now. This is a super soup when the weather is thinking fall but hasn't really gotten cold - maybe like a Mexican winter night? Actually, normally at this point I would be making butternut squash soup with cracked pepper, or a hearty chili.

I ordered home made stock from Fresh Direct, figuring I'd suppliment it with stock I made from the bones from a rotissery chicken. And actually I had enough with what I made, so I'll freeze that stuff from Fresh Direct. I used all the chicken from the bones, and steamed 2 additional small breasts when I made the stock.

This soup is warm and not overtly spicy, but the heat stays in your mouth for a while. Good with a very cold light beer.


Bones from a rotissery chicken, and all the juices from the bottom of the package (discard the skin, save the meat)

5 or 6 stalks of celery (mine was limp and not good for anything so I put in more than I would usually) broken in 3 or 4 places - extra points if there are celery leaves attached :)

2 or 3 carrots, broken in half

Put it all in a pot, cover with water (I used the container for the chicken to put the water in the pot, and that way got all caramelized juices in the bottom) and simmer for an hour or 2.

If you are using additional chicken, add the raw boneless breasts to the pot and simmer for another 20 -25 minutes. Pluck them out when they are done.

Strain the stock in to a bowl, rinse the pot and start assembling the soup.

Assembling the Soup:

1T oil

2 carrots chopped small

1 extra large onion chopped medium

2 4 oz cans of chopped chiles

1 28 oz can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes

8 cups stock

2 or 3 cups of rough chopped cooked chicken

3 or 4 tortillas cut in short strips

Juice of 1 lime

bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 or 2 t ground smoked chipotle pepper

2T ground cumin

3T chili powder

sour cream for garnish

Add a glug of oil to the bottom of the stock pot, and caramelize the onions - after 10 minutes or so, add the carrots. When everything has a nice brown hue, add everything except the sour cream - and give it a taste. Make adjustments as you like.

Serve it up in a nice deep 2 C bowl with a small dollop of sour cream. And like I said before - it goes great with beer.