Last winter, instead of serving a sick boyfriend bland chicken soup, he ate a sultry Vitamin C filled Tortilla Soup. Actually, this soup is a good choice to serve between seasons. The potatoes and the chicken give the soup the hearty weight of winter. The sweetness of the corn and the tomatoes has the reoccurring flavors of summer. When the weather abruptly switches from warm to cold to rainy, the spiciness of the soup reminds the soul that summer is on the way. Now, on those warm spring days, in which time outside is preferred to the indoors, this recipe is quick to make when the warm sun finally gives way to the coolness of moon.
1 lb. seasoned chicken (see directions/recipe below)
1 large onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, diced
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
2 to 3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. cumin
Sea salt and fresh black pepper; to taste
1 lb. baby potatoes, a mixture of white, red and Peruvian purple, quartered
32 oz. chicken stock; low sodium
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine
1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes, plain
1 bunch of thyme (tied with twine)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 lb. of sweet corn, fresh or frozen
The zest and juice of one lime
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Garnish with chopped scallions, fried tortilla shells (store-brought or read recipe below) and sliced avocados
1. In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until done. Remove to a plate and set aside.
2. If needed, add more olive oil to the pot, then stir in the onions. Cook until translucent. Mix in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the jalapeño and green pepper and cook until slightly soften.
3. Add the spices and mix until fragrant. Add the potatoes, chicken stock, red wine, diced tomatoes, thyme, chicken and tomato paste. Adjust seasonings. Cover and bring the soup to boil, then reduce heat to simmer until potatoes are soft/cooked.
4. Add the corn and the lime zest. Continue to simmer until the corn is just cooked.
5. Add the the lime juice and the cilantro. Continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the heat off.
6. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish with scallions, fried tortilla shells and sliced avocados.
1 lb. chicken breast or thighs, boneless and skinless, sliced thin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
Salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1. Mix all ingredients together. Set aside to marinate.
Fried Tortilla Shells
4 to 8 corn tortilla shells
Peanut oil, enough to fill a black skillet, at least 1/4 inch deep
Sea salt; to taste
1. Preheat peanut oil in a black skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, cut tortilla shells into 1/2 inch wide strips
3. When the oil is hot, carefully place tortilla shells in the skillet. Stir and/or flip occasionally, but they will initially stick together. As they brown, they will separate into individual strips. Fry them according to your personal taste for hardness, i.e. the longer they’re in the skillet, the harder they will taste. Be careful not to burn, for it cooks fairly quickly.
4. Remove strips onto a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt.
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