Sunday, December 23, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Two Tortilla Soup

Is there anything more useful than leftover chicken?

When I made those Baptized Chicken breasts (previous post) earlier this week, there were only two of us here and I had 5 breasts, so there were leftovers.  One night I made a chicken and red pepper alfredo with pasta, which was easy and hit the spot.  

The next thing I made was this creamy and a little spicy chicken and tortilla soup.  Most tortilla soups I have seen add tortillas at then end.  I took a cue from the Starch Based Soups lesson at Rouxbe Online Cooking School which used bread as a starch thickener.  So I used corn tortillas at the start of the soup base as a thickener.   The aroma of the fragrant tortillas cooking with the mirepoix was intoxicating!

Chicken and Two Tortilla Soup


Ingredients (4-6 servings)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 6 corn tortillas, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, fire roasted and diced (substitute 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp green onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, diced (optional for cilantrophobes)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 cups crumbled blue tortilla chips
  • garnish ideas include - cheese, cilantro, sour cream,
  1. Fire roast your tomatoes on a grill. I did this using direct heat just enough to char the skins on all sides and then diced them up. Season them with a pinch or two of salt.
  2. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and saute the onions, celery, and diced tortilla pieces until the onion is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes (and any collected juices), chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir to coat and saute another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the water, bullion cubes, salt, and red pepper flake. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the green onion, cilantro, and oregano. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup base to a smooth consistency.
  6. Add the chicken. Stir the cheese into the soup in small batches, until melted. Stir in the cream. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
  8. Serve with crumbled tortilla chips and any desired garnishes.
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You can use a can of fire roasted tomatoes but I had some ripe tomatoes so I just grilled two of them.

The tortillas don't only provide a starch base, they build flavor from the bottom up.

Stir the tortilla chips in so they soak a few minutes before eating.

Amidst the final rush of the holiday season, this velvety soup was the perfect way to fill up on a cold night.  If you like it even spicier, use a teaspoon of red pepper flake or more.  You can also use regular corn tortilla chips if you can't find the blue ones, I just like the color they add and their taste is subtlety different.

I actually didn't intend for this easy soup to be a blog post, but when I warmed up this bowl for lunch today, I figured that I would throw it on here.  It was too good, not to.