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Friday, March 12, 2010

Tortilla Soup



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Our weather turned damp and chilly again today. As luck would have it, Bob and I were walking along the river when it began to pour. We were at the mid-point of the trail, so our options were limited and the only certainty was we'd be drenched before we got back to the car. Spring comes early to Oregon. I retire my winter recipes and restock the pantry and freezer at the end of February and move on to lighter and more colorful meals. Days like this one make me wish I still had a soup or stew hidden away. What I did have were the ingredients for a wonderful tortilla soup developed, years ago, by Martha Holmberg for Fine Cooking magazine. The soup is wonderfully warm and filling, but the spice level is very low. If you like your tortilla soup hot and spicy, you'll have to add more chili powder or use one that has more heat. The broth that is poured over the ingredients must be very hot in order to warm them. While the recipe is scaled to feed two, it can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. You can also swap beef for the chicken that's used in the soup. It does not keep well, so don't make more than can be eaten in one meal. Here's the recipe.

Chicken and Tortilla Soup
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Martha Holmberg and Fine Cooking magazine

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus another 1/2 to 1 cup for frying tortillas
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (from about 1/2 small onion)
1 tablespoon chili powder; more to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt to taste
4 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
Fresh cilantro: six 2-inch stems for the broth, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped leaves for garnish
4 fresh corn tortillas, 6 inches across, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned is fine)
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup diced fresh tomato
For the garnish:
1 ripe avocado, diced and tossed with a squeeze of lime juice
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco, feta, or ricotta salata
2 dollops sour cream
Lime wedges for serving

Directions:
1) Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan or small soup pot, add onion, and cook over medium heat until onion has softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder and tomato paste and stir with a wooden spoon to mix and cook briefly; take care not to let the chili powder scorch.
2) Season chicken thighs lightly with salt and put them in skillet with chile paste, turning them once so they’re entirely coated. Add 1/2 cup broth and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook chicken, turning once, until it’s extremely tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add more broth if pan dries out.
Remove chicken from pan and allow it to cool slightly before shredding into bite size pieces. Set aside.
3) Remove any visible grease from pan before adding remaining broth and cilantro stems. Simmer, uncovered, until broth has reduced by about one-third and is quite flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, fry the tortillas: Line a plate with two layers of paper towels. Fill a small, high-sided saucepan with enough oil to come to about a 1-inch depth. Heat oil over medium heat to 375 degrees F. Add six to eight strips of tortilla. With tongs or a long fork, "scrunch" them for a second or two so they take on a wavy shape. Fry until strips are golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper towels. Repeat with remaining strips.
5) Divide shredded chicken, corn, black beans, tomato, and tortilla strips between two large soup or pasta bowls. Pour hot broth over ingredients in bowls. Serve immediately. Pass avocado, cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro and lime at the table. Yield: 2 servings.

You might also like these recipes:
Creamy Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup - One Perfect Bite
Chilled Avocado Soup - One Perfect Bite
Thai Fresh Pea Soup with Green Curry - One Perfect Bite
Mexican Chicken Soup - Randomosity and the Girl
Mexican Tortilla and Lime Soup - The Perfect Pantry
Posole - Spain in Iowa

48 comments :

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

We had a few rainy days here lately also so I made a soup the other day. Chicken tortilla soup is so good!

Debinhawaii said...

Tortilla soup is so comforting and such a great classic. It looks wonderful and perfect for a rainy day!

Joy said...

It is Autumn here, and that soup would be just so perfect this very evening!

Allie and Pattie said...

It poured here too yesterday, but the weekend is "supposed" to be lovely. Allie will be wanting tortilla soup if she sees this- we love it and this looks SO good!
xoxo Pattie

3 hungry tummies said...

Our weather has certainly turning colder by the day. I am collecting soup recipes, this is just perfect!

My Little Space said...

Oh Mary, you've made it looks so simple! Yet so delicious!

Martha said...

Ah, March -- one day is food from the grill and the next is a rib sticking winter meal. This looks like a good soup for when the weather turns and it's too wet to grill! Love simmering the broth with the cilantro -- gives it much flavor!

Carla and Michael said...

I love Tortilla soup. I order it every chance I get. I will have to give this one a try. This soup is perfect anytime of the year. Thanks for the perfect recipe. It has everything that is in the tortilla soups I order out.

Miranda said...

BEAUTIFUL PICS!!!!
Thank you for stopping by!!!!

The Blonde Duck said...

Tortilla soup is a staple down here.

missy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!!
Everything here looks so yummy!!!! I may have to take a look around!!! :)

Debbi Smith said...

I love tortilla soup, of course I pretty much love anything with a mexican twang to it. Your picture looks heavenly!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, your Tortilla soup look comforting, I have never cook this kind of soup before, might try one day.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

It is rainy and blustery here today too. This would definitely hit the spot!

Cathy said...

This looks like a flavor packed hearty soup, perfect for this crazy weather we're having. Torrential rains, high winds...I thought it was spring.

zurin said...

that sounds good ...tortilla soup! definitely perfect for a rainy day.

♥ Kathy said...

I love tortilla soup!

Rebecca said...

I LOVE tortilla soup! Sounds like a perfect thing for a day like today. Have a great weekend :)

Arlette said...

I love your spicy soup..
I didnt prepare lots of soups this winter.. Living in Northern Ontario where we will be still covered in snow... this year, we did not... the snow is melting the temp is around +11 compare to -5.
we had a very mild season this year...the climate is changing.

Amy Ricks said...

Hi, Mary. I have been wanting to make Tortilla Soup since I enjoyed it on a trip to Texas a while back and recently saw it in a cookbook. This looks fabulous!! Thanks for visiting my blog and, please, come back often!!

Amy
Kitchencentsability

Lisa said...

Tortilla Soup is one of my favorites! Sounds nice for some of these crazy spring days. Of course soup is good almost any old time.

noble pig said...

It's beautiful and colorful!! And yes, the rain...it's been going for 24 hours!

Dajana said...

This year we're having an incredibly long and cold winter for Italy, we've been snowed in this week, and all I can think of is a bowl of hot soup. Your bowl looks so inviting. Thanks for visiting.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Thanks for stopping by the other day and leaving such a lovely comment. Sorry it took me so long to come by, but have been having major drama with my blog.
This is one yummy looking soup. I am not normally a soup person but this just looks so hearty and full of good stuff.
Have a wonderful weekend daaaaahling!
*kisses* HH

Danielle said...

Oooooh this looks incredible! Tortilla soup is one of my all-time favourite soups and yours looks amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

Mommy Gourmet said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog, because it lead me to yours. How gorgous. Your blog is beautiful!!

Danielle said...

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for the visit and the nice compliment.
I feel so silly....I live in Los Angeles and grew up on mexican food and restaurants yet I have never had tortilla soup. Most of them that I've seen show soggy stuff but this soup you have here looks wonderful and delish! I will give this a try. I'm sure the family would enjoy it!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Its getting real warm here in my part of the world,today we had to shut the whole home ,coz it was really very hot and humid and it aint like i like sitting or cooking in the aircon the whole day....love fresh air but not when its so so hot-looks like a hot wave around here and right in March...
Wish it were a cold wave ...lol.....
Still i would love to finish off this bowl of soup coz its simply deliciously delicious...
Happy day to ya Mary.......

Diana's Cocina said...

Tortilla Soup is a huge hit in our home. Comfort n a bowl. :)

Alessandra said...

THis is fun!!! I must try it (without Chicken) thank you Mary!

Lady Ren said...

A couple of weeks ago I posted about making my own Queso Blanco. Since I have been looking for a colorful dish that I could make to use the Queso in. I think this soup will fit the bill!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

This has got to be one of my very favorites soups of all time. I've been craving this. I have a tried and true that I make, but your version would be fun to play with. My neck of Northern California has been completely unpredictable, too. One day, it feels like spring. Today, we are expecting heavy rain.
I grilled two days ago, and now it's soup weather.

msmeanie said...

This sounds like such a hearty healthy meal. I bet it's perfect for the rainy days!

Pam said...

This is one of my very favorite soups - I love the chunks of tomato and avocado on top. Yum!

sherri said...

Wow! Delicious sounding (and looking soup!).

We had two days of beautiful weather and a week of rainy days, but it's OK with me...it means spring is on its way!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

I too have seen lots of different recipes for this soup and have yet to try any. Yours looks wonderful. I am intriqued with your Carnival cake. Hummmmm.

Rambling Tart said...

Mmm, it's very much a soup day here too. SO blustery and cold! This is beautiful. :-)

Joie de vivre said...

This would be perfect for a day like today!

Carol said...

This soup looks really delicious; lots of color and variety in this recipe!

shahana said...

never tried this recipe at home.Thsnks for sharing!

Martha said...

This looks outrageously delicious Mary! Have a great weekend :-)

Lori said...

That looks like an incredible tortilla soup!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

This would be perfect on this cold, rainy day. It looks totally delicious and so comforting!

Sasha said...

What a lovely soup! Perfect for a rainy day...or any day for that matter : )

Katy ~ said...

Perfect! We had several days of "spring" and now today we are having pelting hail mixed with snow and rain. Brrrrrr...this soup would be Perfect!

Claudia said...

I love this soup! Bookmarking it before soup season ends. (We are having spring weather; won't last.

Rocquie said...

What a beautiful soup. And perfect for this time of year.

Jacob And Angie Ward said...

Hello, I read your comment on my blog and decided to check yours out. This soup looks great! I will defiantly be trying out some of your recipes soon!
-Angie

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