Souper Sunday – Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite soups to make.  I usually couple the soup on my weekly menu plan with a roasted whole chicken.  So, make a roasted whole chicken one day, then make stock from the chicken and use it (as well as any leftover meat) to make the soup a few days later.  Great, low-cost dinners!

The corn tortillas cook into the soup and give it a nice, creamy texture.  The soup ends up somewhat halfway between a soup and a stew.  While you can make the soup using canned chicken broth and thighs/breasts that you roast (or pick the meat from a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store), the most cost-effective way to make the soup is to make a roasted whole chicken one night.  Then, pick through the meat to get a cup or two for the soup (assuming your family doesn’t eat the entire chicken), and turn the bones into stock.  You can use fresh jalapenos in the soup, but I find it easier to just buy a small can of fire roasted chiles (I buy Old El Paso brand).  I’ll admit it….I don’t like cutting up jalapenos ever since I didn’t wash my hands well enough after cutting one (I thought I did!), and got jalapeno juice in my eye.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About one hour
Serves: 4-6

2 Tb. Olive oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 chopped red bell pepper
6 cloves of garlic, minced
8 corn tortillas, cut into one inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Small can of fire roasted chilies (1/2 to the whole can depending on your preference)
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
3 bay leaves
14.5 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne powder (depending on your preference)
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups shredded chicken (good use for leftovers)

Serve with:
Sour Cream
Shredded cheese
Tortilla strips
Chopped fresh avocado

1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, corn tortillas, cilantro, and can of chilies. Saute 3-4 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and drained black beans. Mix in and bring to a boil.

3. Add cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. Mix in.

4. Add chicken stock, and season with salt and cayenne.

5. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

6. Remove bay leaves.

7. Add shredded chicken and corn. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

8. Serve with toppings of your choice.


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