Dare I say it?
I believe spring has finally sprung here in New England. There are no longer any filthy piles of snow-dirt along the curbs, birds are chirping on a regular basis, and the sun actually feels warm. Yes, at the risk of jinxing everyone living in this area, I am going to say it: SPRING IS HERE!
And as one last winter hurrah, here is an amazing tortilla soup recipe!
One thing I love about New England- the fact that with each season comes a different palette for food and drink. Soup in the winter is perfect. Pumpkin bread and apple crisp in the fall is divine. A heavy stout in the winter is warming, while a crisp unfiltered wheat beer in the summer is refreshing. I doubt I will be making much soup after this until it starts to get cold again.
This is a very easy recipe made with homemade chicken or vegetable stock and smoky mexican pulled chicken (or any other cooked chicken). The secret ingredient: masa (or cornmeal/corn flour) mixed with a little bit of water, added to the soup to thicken and add a rich corn flavor. And my favorite part: the fixings! Sour cream, sliced avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, hot sauce, and homemade fried tortillas really “top” this soup off (see what I did there?)
It was excellent for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day (we have two corningware soup containers that are perfect for microwaving leftovers- it’s essentially a large mug with a handle and a lid that has a vent for the microwave- highly recommended!), PLUS we have a good portion in our freezer for a future chilly night. This recipe makes a ton, is extremely tasty, and 100% real and unprocessed. Enjoy!
- 2 cups smoky mexican pulled chicken (or other cooked shredded chicken)
- pan drippings from smoky mexican chicken, deglazed with chicken broth (optional)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 can rotel or diced tomatoes
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips about 2" long
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sliced avocado
- Sour cream
- diced red or green onions
- hot sauce
- grated monterey jack cheese
- Saute peppers and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned and softened.
- Add chicken, spices, and tomato paste; saute for a couple more minutes.
- Add chicken broth, beans, optional pan drippings, rotel, and beans. Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fry corn tortilla strips in oil until crisp but not too brown. Alternatively, you may brush with olive oil and bake in the oven at 375 on a parchment lined baking sheet until crisp.
- Mix masa with a little bit of cold water until dissolved; add to soup and stir. Simmer for 20 more minutes.
- Add lime juice to soup.
- Serve with fixings.
- This soup can be made in bulk and frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight container.