Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tortilla Soup


I created the recipe for this yummy variation on standard chicken soup after having a similar style at a local Mexican restaurant. I'm a sucker for a good soup, and even though this particular restaurant is a chain (which in my opinion don't generally get great marks for quality food), they had a good tortilla soup. Unlike some varieties of this soup at other chains, it is not creamy, nor even thickened. Just broth and veggies and chicken, with crisp tortilla strips thrown in just before serving -- the noodles for my chicken soup.

The heat is determined by the amount of juice you include from the Rotel tomatoes and chilies (as well as the heat of the variety you buy). I use mild or original, and I drain about half of the juice. I think my soup is pretty spicy (and so does six-year-old Peach), but my guys add Tabasco. Use your own heat preference to guide you -- but you might want to start out mild the first time you make it.

My bowl here is missing the cilantro because I forgot to buy fresh. I did, however, squeeze fresh lime in each bowl.

Tortilla Soup
serves 6 to 8

2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 clove garlic, crushed
lrg. can chicken broth
4 cups water
3 t. chicken soup base (or bouillon)
3 carrots, sliced
1 cooked chicken breast, deboned and diced
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chilies
(drain off as much juice as you want -- remember more juice means more heat)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
½ t. chili powder
salt to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
fresh lime wedges
baked tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
(use less salt in soup if using chips)

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat until hot.
Saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil for several minutes, until tender.
Add broth, water, soup base and carrots.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chicken, tomatoes with juice, and rice.
Cook until carrots are tender.
Add corn and beans.
Season with chili powder and salt, to taste,
Simmer for 15 minutes until rice is tender.
Ladle into bowls.
Top with cilantro, tortilla strips and a squeeze of lime juice.

Tortilla strips

6 to 8 flour tortillas (one medium for each person is about right)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice tortillas with a pizza cutter into noodle-width slices.
Place on a baking sheet, spreading out over entire sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes until crisp and golden -- do not brown.



Charlotte (Matilda) said...

I just got back from the store and didn't see this before I left. :(
I love, love, LOVE chicken tortilla soup just like you described it; broth, veggies and chicken. None of that creamy stuff for me! I add a little ground cumin to mine. It makes for a nice flavor combination with the cilantro. I don't usually use Rotel so I will tell you how I like yours.

Sara said...

Sound yummy! I have an old Tortilla soup recipe. I never thought of adding lime to it!