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  • chicken tortilla soup

    Tortilla soup is one of those recipes that became a part of my cooking repertoire soon after I fell out of the blogging groove in early 2011. Once I started making it, I couldn’t stop. I made it about 3 times weeks in a row in giant batches until Cory asked me to cook something else. It’s one of those dishes, where if I lived alone, I’d make for myself just about every week and never tire of. I still slip it into weekly dinner menus fairly often, though. I love the wonderfully rich smokiness of the chipotle in adobo sauce, the sourness of the limes, and I never ever get sick of avocados. Also, what better way to eat dinner than with a bowl of tortilla chips? Purists might groan at that, but it’s a lazy and delicious shortcut that’s stuck with me (plus Trader Joe’s has the best tortilla chips).

    chicken tortilla soup

    PS – I don’t have a good set up for taking photos in our new apartment yet. The backdoor hallway gets the best light and today I had a little helper during the photoshoot:

    chicken tortilla soup helper

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken, shredded. In this case I used about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs, browned on each side on the stove, then baked until cooked through. I let it cool, then shredded it before adding it to the soup.
    1 large onion, diced
    2-4 cloves garlic, diced
    2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, blended
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1-3 jalapenos, diced
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 bay leaf
    salt & pepper, to taste
    4 15-oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    4 cups of chicken stock
    1 15-oz canned tomatoes, diced
    1 cup corn
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    1-2 limes, juiced

    – small corn tortillas (1 per serving), sauteed until crispy and broken into pieces or tortilla chips

    Optional serving ideas:
    – grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
    – guacamole or sliced avocado
    – sour cream
    – fresh cilantro
    – lime wedges
    – fresh jalapenos
    – chopped green onions

    Wash and pat dry chicken. Prepare the chicken as needed depending on the cut and size. If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken while the soup is simmering. In this case I used about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs, browned on each side on the stove in a stock pot, then transferred to a baking dish and baked until cooked through. I let it cool, shredded it, and added it later on to the soup.

    Drain most of the chicken fat from the stockpot, add a little more cooking oil and add the onions. Continue cooking the onions until softened, about, 5-7 minutes. Add green bell pepper and let it cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle, spices, salt, pepper, and cook for another minute, stirring often.

    Add the black beans, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, and bring to a gentle boil. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chicken, corn, and simmer for another 10 or so minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Check the flavor and add more salt, if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with tortillas and garnishes of your choice.

    Serves 8