Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  


This recipe if for my homemade tortilla soup that can be customized to whatever your busy schedule is. For those of you that want something that takes a little love and time that just screams home-cooked deliciousness, I wrote my from-scratch versions. I also incorporated ingredient and direction short cuts to make this meal a faster and easy one to handle. When printing this, click on the parts you want to delete (they will show up yellow when you click on them) to customize it accordingly.
A re-post from 2010
I REALLY needed to re-post this tortilla soup recipe because it was such a mess. I had all these ingredients listed with no measurements, no step by step pictures and no way to customize it for people that may want to do things different depending on the time and ingredients they have. Well, now that I have made this enough times in many different ways, I finally have a written down everything and took some step by step photos. The main picture above is still my original from October of 2010.



Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup
(different options will be included throughout recipe)
Ingredients:
  • 1 whole fresh/frozen or 3-4 med fresh breasts (with/without bone) of Chicken.  
  • 2 cups of dry or 1 can of Pinto and 1 1/2 cups of dry or 1can Black Beans.  
  • About 8 cups of Chicken Stock or Water with 2-3 tablespoons of Chicken Base
  • 4 medium Carrots (chopped)
  • 4 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 1 large Onion or about 3 small green onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic (minced) or (see seasoning mix below)
  • 4 Large Tomatillos (quartered)
  • 2-4 Poblano Peppers (seeded and chopped) I have also used various other peppers
  • 2 cups fresh or stewed Tomatoes with their juices (diced)
  • 1-2 small cans of Green Chilies 
  • 1-2 cups of fresh, frozen, or 1 can of corn


  • Seasoning Mix: 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional), 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of smoked or regular paprika, 1 tablespoon ground cumin. Salt and Pepper to taste.
You can also use a fajita (or taco) seasoning packet to add instead.



  • Thickeners: I like to use cut up Corn tortillas (about 4-6), dried Refried Beans (about 1/2- 1 cup), or Potato flakes (about 1/2- 1 cup) to thicken soup.

  • 1 handful of Cilantro (finely chopped) 
  • Juice from one fresh Lime (or equivalent of bottled lime juice)

Favorite Soup Toppings:
  • Corn Tortilla chips or strips* (I like "hint of lime" chips)
  • Cheddar, Monterrey jack, or Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh tomatoes, salsa, or Pico de Gallo
  • Fresh Lime juice

*To make your own strips, cut fresh corn tortillas into strips and fry until crispy.

Directions:

#1. Chicken


 You can roast your own chicken or pick one up roasted at your supermarket.

How I roast my chicken whole (About a 3 pound chicken):

From Fresh- Remove Giblets, neck, and tail. Wash chicken inside and out, pat dry. Rub light Olive oil all over skin, season with salt, pepper, and/or some of the seasoning pack listed above.

Put in roasting pan and bake at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Allow chicken to cool while finishing soup. Then chop or shred. Keep carcass to make chicken stock for your soup or freeze for later use.

From frozen- rinse off, put in a roasting pan, add a couple of cups of water to the pan, cover and bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours or 350 degrees for 2 hours.
Allow chicken to cool and remove giblets, neck and tail. Allow chicken to cool while finishing soup. Then chop or shred. Keep carcass to make chicken stock for your soup or freeze for later use.



How I roast or broil Chicken Breasts Click Here


#2.  Vegetable and Chicken Base for Soup



How I Make the Base for My Soup:
Roasted-
Put Carrots, Celery, Onion, Garlic, Tomatillos, Peppers and lime rinds (optional) into roasting pan if using with prepared [fresh] chicken. Roast with chicken. Without chicken, broil on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes or until softened. If roasting with chicken, roast until chicken is done. Allow chicken to cool. Dump all vegetables, chicken drippings, and stock (or water with chicken base) and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and blend* together



or Boiled- Put Carrots, Celery, Onion, Garlic, Tomatillos, Peppers, and chicken stock (or water and chicken base) into Large pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and Blend* together.



*Blend all together with immersion blender, blender, or food processor.
#3. Beans

How I like to Prepare my Beans:
Long prep time and long cooking time-
Wash beans and place in a pot of water filled about a fist above the beans. Cover and soak over night. Drain beans and fill pot of water again fist high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and slow cook for up to 6 hours.
( I will also place in my slow cooker instead of watching the stove).
Short prep time, longer cooking time- Place washed beans into pressure cooker (uncovered), fill with water about fist high from the top of beans. Bring to a boil. Add more water if needed and cover and bring to high heat until weight begins to dance. Reduce heat to medium high and set timer for 35-40 minutes (you will start to smell them). Remove from heat and wait until all pressure is gone and latch lock falls. If beans are still not soft enough, pressure cook another 10 minutes. Strain water and add beans to soup.   
Long prep time, shorter cooking time- Wash beans and place in a pressure cooker pot of water filled about a fist above the beans. Cover and soak over night. Drain beans and fill pressure cooker pot of water fist high again. Cover and bring to high heat until weight begins to dance. Reduce heat to medium high and set timer for 15-20 minutes (you will start to smell them). Remove from heat and wait until all pressure is gone and latch lock falls. If beans are still not soft enough, pressure cook another 10 minutes. Strain water and add beans to soup.   
No prep time and no cook time- Using canned beans will skip this whole part of the recipe. Just add in beans to your soup.

#4. Remaining Ingredients



Add Tomatoes with their juices, Green Chilies, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Also ad thicken of your choice as needed. Add chicken chunks liberally and bring soup to a boil. Remove from heat or put in slow cooker to warm until ready. (The longer the soup sits (keeping it warm) the more flavorful it will be.


Let your guest help themselves to the toppings to add on their individual soups.


Another Tip:
With the left over chicken carcass, you can make some homemade chicken stock for this soup (while your beans are slow cooking-about 3-4 hours) or freeze carcass to make stock later.



You can also make stock with the carcass a day or two after you've made this soup and freeze the stock in cubes for later use. Keep chicken carcass in refrigerator until ready.

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