Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tortilla Soup (with chicken) or Sopa de Tortilla


Tortialla Soup (with Chicken) or Sopa de Tortilla
Yield 4-6 servings

2 chicken breasts chopped
1 can Muir Glen crushed Fire Roasted Tomato
2 tablespoons Corn or olive oil
1 medium Yellow onion; coarsely chopped
2 Cloves garlic; peeled and halved lengthwise
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 teaspoon Coarse salt; plus more for seasoning
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper; plus more for seasoning
6 cups Chicken stock
1 small Bunch cilantro;
1 small Bunch oregano
4 Corn tortillas; yellow and blue
½ cup Vegetable oil; for frying
1 Avocado; cut into cubes
4 ounces cheese; freshly grated
4 Limes; quartered

Heat 1 tablespoon of corn/olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat. Brown the chicken. Remove from the oil and put aside. Add the onion and the garlic. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add onions to jar of the blender and add the Fire Roasted Tomato. Puree the tomato-onion mixture until smooth.

Return soup pot to medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of corn/olive oil and stir in tomato-onion puree, using rubber spatula to clean out blender jar. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. It should be the consistency of a dark, thick ketchup.

Whisk in chicken stock. Add chicken pieces back in. Make a bouquet garni of the cilantro stems and oregano (put them in some cheese cloth and tie closed with dental floss). Add the bouquet garni to the soup, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Partially cover and simmer until the flavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Season soup to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes; cut the tortillas into 1/4-inch strips. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium-high heat, until the oil is shimmering and hot. Carefully add the tortilla strips, standing back as the oil might splatter. Fry until the strips are crisp and brown, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Season hot strips with salt and pepper. (my boys love these strips for a quick snack too!)

Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with avocado cubes, tortilla strips, cheese and quartered limes.

NOTES : This classic Mexican tortilla soup gets much of its flavor from the garnishes that are added just before serving-a squeeze of fresh lime for tartness and crisp tortilla strips.

This recipe is modified from a Martha Stewart recipe and is a family favorite. It can be modified for the Maker's Diet by using olive oil and skipping the Tortilla strips.

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