Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Bored with regular chicken soup? Spice up your chicken-stock-making skills by cooking different chicken soup creations.  This week, I tried my hand at chicken tortilla soup.  All of the measurements are a bit of an estimate as I changed the seasoning based on how it tasted while I made feel free to adjust the spice to your liking as well!

I used leeks in this recipe, which is one of my favorite veggies to cook with while making soups. (I promise I'll post on how to properly cut and clean this awesome veggie in the near future...) Leeks are in the same family as an onion, have a lighter taste, but add LOADS of flavor to soup recipes.  If you do not have any leeks on hand, you can replace the it with an onion.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 leek, sliced long-ways in half, then cut into small moons
1 carrot (or a handful of shredded carrots), chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1.5-2 Cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 can tomatoes with chilies (Rotel is good, but I used Trader Joe's Fire Roasted tomatoes with green chilies)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
2 Cup Chicken Stock (I only had 1 cup on hand, but added 1 cup of water, and it turned out great!)
1-2 T cumin (adjust to your desired heat)
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Add olive oil to medium soup pot on medium-high heat.  Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. 
  • Add veggies to the pot as you chop them. I usually add the more fibrous veggies first (celery, carrots) then anything thinner (in this case, the leeks).  Season with salt & pepper and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
  • Once veggies are softened, add the shredded chicken, cans of tomatoes, can of corn, stock/water, and cumin. Do not drain the canned veggies!! This will help add liquid to your soup.
  • Simmer on medium-high heat until the soup is warmed through. 
  • Before you are ready to eat the soup, stir in the chopped cilantro.  This way the herb stays nice and fresh tasting.  For a nice presentation, you can even sprinkle the cilantro on top of each bowl.
  • Top with your favorite toppings.  I used a few slices of avocado, but other great options are tortilla chips, sour cream, or cheese.

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