Chicken Tortilla Soup
In case she hasn’t mentioned it lately, SoupAddict is a summer girl. She harbors a general resentment against snow, as it keeps her from her gardens (which are still producing leeks and various herbs). So, when it snows (and Mother Nature saw fit to drop 10″ in the last 12 hours), SoupAddict turns to one of her favorite soups for comfort on this bleak February day.
Coming off the previous night’s dinner that was so pepper-hot it completely shut down her taste buds (more on that another day), SoupAddict wanted something warm and creamy, with a gentle spice heat that stimulates the senses without overwhelming them. Call SoupAddict wimpy, but she does not understand the appeal of super-hot spices. Then again, there are probably plenty of people who don’t understand how someone, like SoupAddict, can eat a bowlful of plain, buttered pasta and be completely, blissfully happy.
This soup, however, should satisfy both sides of the bland-hot debate. And if you should feel it’s still too one-way-or-the-other, adjust the seasonings to suit. Soup is flexible and agreeable like that. That’s why SoupAddict [hearts] soup.
What you can’t tell from this picture is that the spoon is slightly angled downward, but the soup is still clinging to it.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
|1||medium||yellow onion, chopped|
|2||cloves||fresh garlic, minced|
|1||red bell pepper, chopped|
|1||poblano pepper or green bell pepper, chopped|
|1/2||jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced|
|15||ounces||can tomato puree|
|1||pound||cooked chicken, cubed or pulled|
|1||cup||heavy cream, half and half or milk|
|8||ounces||cheese, grated (use your favorite or a mix of favorites)|
|Tortilla chips, crumbled (or if you can find them, tortilla strips)|
|Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)|
1. Make the soup: Heat oil and butter in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery and garlic until soft.
2. Add a splash of chicken stock, and then the red bell, poblano or green bell and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.
3. Add all of the spices (salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, sugar, chili powder), and stir until fragrant.
4. Add the remaining chicken stock, tomato puree and Worchestershire sauce. Mix well and bring to boil.
5. Add chicken, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (or more – the longer a soup simmers, the better!)
6. Make the cheese sauce: Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in flour to create a paste.
7. Slowly add the dairy, stirring constantly, until a thick, creamy sauce is formed. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add grated cheese and stir to completely incorporate into the sauce.
8. Add cheese sauce to the soup, stirring to mix well. The soup should now be creamy, but not necessarily spoon-hugging thick.
9. To serve: ladle into bowls, then sprinkle on cilantro. Add a spoonful of sour cream and top with tortilla chips/strips.