Chicken Tortilla Soup
One of my many passions for cooking is creating a delicious bowl of soup. There’s wisdom behind the best selling group of books titled “soup for the soul” as there’s genuine comfort in a homemade bowl of soup. For me, I get just as much comfort in making the soup that satisfies my family’s soul as I do eating it. I love chopping and dicing the fresh ingredients as I add them layer by layer to my indigo cast iron pot. The house becomes a fragrant haven of temptation as the onions and garlic simmer in olive oil filling our senses with anticipation.
Chicken Tortilla Soup has been a long time favorite in our family, especially for my daughter. It’s spicy enough to make your nose run yet has a hint of sweetness to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. One of the successes in preparing tortilla soup is keeping with the flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine. Fire roasted chili’s, smoky chipotle, corn, lime, cilantro, and fresh green onions are wonderfully detected while the final addition of corn tortilla strips adds that Tex-Mex stone ground flavor. Optional crunchy tortilla chips, green onions, and a final squeeze of lime when serving puts this over the top.
The list of ingredients seems long, however don’t let that deter you as it’s an easy quick soup without a lot of effort…the directions are barely a paragraph. Easy! Within the list of ingredients, I have four slices of Kraft American Cheese Slices. I know there is controversy in using cheese slices as they are processed cheese rather than traditional cheddar. But I find the cheese slices melt better adding a creaminess to the body of the soup whereas Cheddar becomes greasy and clumpy. Use your discretion, if you prefer cheddar, use it, it’s wonderful either way.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 – 4 oz can diced green fire roasted chili’s
- 2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 – 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 -14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes – (optional – I puree them)
- 48 oz organic low salt chicken broth
- 1 cup yellow and white corn kernels (frozen preferred)
- 1 – 15 oz can small white beans, rinsed and drained (black beans work well too and add a nice contrast or pinto beans are good – your preference)
- 4 slices American singles (they melt better than cheddar – not greasy)
- 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Deli Rotisserie chicken – deboned and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of ½ fresh lime
- 4 corn tortillas, sliced into 2″ strips
Crushed tortilla chips
Chopped green onions
Squeeze of lime
In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and chili’s until soft, then add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, white pepper, coriander and oregano and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle simmer and continue simmering for 7 – 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning adding a little salt or a bit more cheese, adjust to your taste.
Just before serving, add the corn tortilla strips to the soup, stirring to blend into broth and allow to soften for 3-4 minutes. Serve the soup topped with tortilla chips, chopped green onions, and a squeeze of lime.