It's cold outside today. Rain, no make that hail, is pounding down. If it wasn't such a hassle to get the heater going (always is the first time) then we'd probably have that baby cranking, but instead we're sitting around in fleece and sweats and I've got a blanket over my shoulders. Definitely a soup day!
This is a hearty soup with the perfect amount of spice. It's easy to make, the ingredients are simple, and it reheats well (so make extra). I tend to make a big 'ol pot and freeze half. I love the fried tortilla strips with it - they really make the soup.
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (capsicum), red or green, chopped
2 jalapeno chili peppers, diced
2 chicken breasts, skinless
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsps cumin
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup corn, canned (drained) or frozen
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
8 corn [or flour] tortillas, cut into 1/8" thick strips
canola oil, for pan-frying
2 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, diced (optional)
1 cup Jack cheese (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
In a large pot saute the onion, garlic, chili peppers, and bell pepper with olive olive until soft.
Add the chicken breasts, tomatoes, cumin, and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. When the chicken breasts are cooked through (about 15 minutes) remove from the pot and shred (use two forks to pull apart meat).
Return the shredded chicken to the pot along with the corn and tomato paste and simmer 30 minutes.
While the soup is cooking heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to smoke add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Salt & Pepper to taste. Serve topped with tortilla strips, avocado, and cheese. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Serves 4-6
If you don't want to fry your own tortillas you can substitute corn chips.
If freezing, let the soup cool and store in an airtight freezable tupperware or ziplock. You can fry the tortilla strips ahead of time and store them in an airtight bag in a dry, cool place for about one week. If they get soft just bake them for a few minutes until crisp again. To reheat the soup, let it thaw completely and then gentle heat until warmed through.
Feel free to throw in extra chilis if you like things spicy!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008