Monday, January 16, 2012

Tortilla Soup, Take Two

tortilla soupI have a recipe I love for Tortilla Soup. Any soup I can add avocado to, I am a happy camper.  The recipe for Tortilla Soup on Kokocooks intriqued me.  My usual lime spiked tortilla soup is great for a summer night, this recipe is hearty and rich, perfect for a cool winter night.  We always have corn tortillas on hand.  When I first moved to Texas, you wouldn't catch me eating a corn tortilla when there were soft, pillowy flour tortillas to be had.  But after 15 years, I have learned to appreciate boths tortillas, so we always have a pile in the refrigerator.  This soup is perfect for using leftover tortillas, it works well with stale tortillas.  It makes a huge batch, we had half for dinner and the other half went straight into the freezer.  A neat tip for shredding chicken is to use your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment.  It is so much faster than shredding chicken with two forks.  Thanks to Stick a Fork in It for the great idea.
Tortilla Soup

½ cup vegetable oil
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes and chiles
1 16 ounce can tomato sauce
2 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
1 12 ounce package frozen corn kernels
6 corn tortillas, cut into pieces

Chopped avocado
Shredded Monterey jack cheese

In a small sauté pan, heat ½ cup vegetable oil. Add the tortilla strips in small batches, frying until golden brown. Scoop out the strips with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat with the remaining strips. Set aside.

In a stock pot or large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, white onion and garlic, sauté until onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Add black pepper, taco chili powder and cumin. Stir to combine and sauté another 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, diced Rotel tomatoes and tomato sauce. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Carefully slide chicken breast in, meat side down, making sure it is completely submerged. Turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from the pot and set on a cutting board. Add corn and tortillas to the soup, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will break down and thicken the soup. Meanwhile, remove chicken from the bone and shred. Discard bones. Return chicken to the soup. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with avocado, cheese and tortilla strips.
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