The Crooked Ladle
CLASSIC CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP SUPREME - A Memorable Version in a Good Way
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP SUPREME - Easy and Economical, Yet Supreme in Every Way
Classic Tortilla Soup - Feedback says this is one of the best
Tortilla soup is a popular Mexican classic that warms you down to your bones. I'm not sure which I like most, the soup itself or the delicious toppings, but definitely the combination of the two. Besides being delicious, tortilla soup is a fun meal to serve because it allows those who are dining on it the opportunity to partake in the meal creation process by selecting their own customized toppings. So have fun with this colorful delicious soup which is hearty enough to be an entree.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
· Large soup pot
. Large skillet (if making corn strips)
. Spatula (if making corn strips)
. Small plate (for the chicken to rest upon)
. Cutting board
. Measuring cups
. Measuring spoons
. Chopping/slicing knife
. Large stir spoon
. Soup ladle
. Grater for cheese, if not using bagged pre-shredded cheese or food processor
. 2 tablespoons olive oil
. 1 small yellow onion equal to about ½ cup, peeled and chopped well
. 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
. 1 jalapeño, finely minced
. 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about one pound)
. 1 - 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
. 1 cup corn – either canned (drained) or frozen (I used frozen this time)
. ½ cup fresh red pepper, finely chopped
. 4 cups chicken broth
. 2 – 14.5 oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes (regular or fire roasted – I used one of each this time which is a nice balance)
. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
. 1 teaspoon chili powder
. ¼ cup cilantro (rinsed, dried and larger stems removed), finely minced
. 1 tablespoon lime juice, preferably fresh but bottled works too
. salt and pepper to taste
1. If you are choosing to make your own crispy corn strips for a topping, I would begin by first cooking off the corn chips. Instructions for two varying methods of cooking are below.
Cooking your own corn chip strips just takes about 15 minutes. Otherwise, you can skip this step and just use a pre-made bag of corn chip strips or a bag of standard tortialla chips and just crumple them up a bit.
Ingredients and Instructions for Corn Chips:
Method 1 – Frying Corn Chips
. ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
. 8 - 10 corn tortillas, standard size
1. Slice tortillas into quarter inch wide strips. You can cut 3 or 4 tortillas stacked on top of each other at one time to speed up the cutting process.
2. Place oil into a large skillet and bring the stove top heat up to a medium-low heat.
3. Place tortilla strips (one batch at a time) into the heated oil. Try not to stack the strips and be careful to avoid potential hot oil splatters.
4. Fry corn strips for a couple minutes on one side and move them around with a spatula to cook all sides.
5. Place cooked corn strips onto two layers of paper towels and allow to cool and dry.
6. Continue processes 2 – 5 above until batches are completed.
Method 2 – Baking Corn Chips:
. 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
. 8 – 10 corn tortillas
1. Slice tortillas into quarter inch wide strips.
2. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
3. Place corn tortilla chips on the cookie sheet and toss the oil around the corn chips to coat well.
4. Bake in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes until cooked.
Instructions for Tortilla Soup:
1. I recommend completing all of your chopping for the soup prior to putting any ingredients into the soup pot. The process tends to go smoother that way.
2. Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in the soup pot on medium-low heat and then once the pot is heated, add the onion, garlic and jalapeño and sauté until tender and the onion becomes somewhat translucent.
3. Beginning with the liquids, add the rest of the soup ingredients including the whole chicken breasts, except for the cilantro and lime juice, (this will be added at the end of the process). Place a lid on the soup pot, if available. Bring the pot to a mild boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer for 25 minutes.
4. With tongs, remove the two chicken breasts from the soup pot and let them rest on a small plate for about five minutes. On a cutting board, begin shredding the cooked breasts with a fork. I sometimes pull it apart using my fingers once the chicken has cooled. Keep the chicken pieces to about one inch in size for ease of eating.
5. Return the shredded chicken to the soup pot and stir until well combined and let the soup heat for another five minutes.
6. The last step is to add the lime juice and cilantro, stir and serve with optional toppings below.
Topping Ingredient Options – Offer all or some:
. 1 or 2 avocados depending on size, peeled and cut into slices or chunks
. Shredded cheese – your choice – Possible cheese options are a Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Queso Añejo (Bagged pre-shredded or shred yourself)
. 2 cups corn tortilla strips or bagged corn chip strips or standard corn chips
. 1 cup sour cream
. 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly or diced
. 1 lime, sliced in half slices
. 1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro, rough chopped (rinsed, dried and larger stems removed)
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