I outdid myself this time. I have been chasing after a copycat recipe for a chicken tortilla soup that is served at a local cafe, but haven’t been able to find one that sounded quite right. There are lots of copycat recipes floating around cyberspace which claim to be “the one” which tastes “exactly like” the real thing. Yeah right, and I have the list of The Colonels 17 secret herbs and spices AND I know how to use them. Uhhh, nope.
In short, I gave up on the idea of chasing after that elusive recipe. I have taste buds, they work and they tell me that this is a great recipe for chicken tortilla soup even though it tastes completely different than that afore alluded to cafe soup. Honey Buns and I really like this soup. Really, a lot, like this soup.
I was baby sitting for the grand younguns last night and they kept me hopping with finding hidden rocks and reading stories and chasing after the next thing that the baby was getting into. Reminds me of the old days when my kids were little. So, when their parental units came and dragged them away kicking and screaming (poor little babies, they were so happy and at peace until mom and dad showed up and started acting like grown-ups with responsibilities towards their young), I got down to making this soup. We ate late, like at 10:00, but it was worth the wait. I had forgotten how good this stuff really is. I hope you like it, too.
- This soup is very easy to make, it just involves a little chopping and opening some cans. Each ingredient brings something to the party.
- You can make your own tortilla strips for garnishing, see #1 on the instructions.
- The chipotle chili powder adds a smoky flavor with a little heat that helps to set this soup apart from the rest of the pack, so be sure to use it instead of regular chili powder.
- If you don’t want to use a pre-roasted chicken, then you will need about 3-4 cups chicken. You could dice some chicken breasts and saute them with the tortilla pieces, onion, and garlic. (See step #3 in instructions.)
- 1 roasted chicken from the deli (or Costco or Sams or make your own) or 3-4 cups chicken, cooked however you like it
- 8-10 corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (14-15 oz.) can red enchilada sauce (I used La Victoria)
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn or 1 can corn
- 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (it’s in the spice section of your grocery store–made by McCormick)
- 6 cups chicken broth (I used 6 cups water with 2 tablespoons chicken base. You can also use 6 cups water with 6 chicken bouillon cubes)
- 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Slice 4-5 corn tortillas into strips. Put them in a baking pan, give them a quick spritz with a cooking spray such as Pam. Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated 375-degree oven or until crisp. Toss them around a couple of times while baking. These are for garnish for the soup. Skip this part if you don’t want to use them.
- Tear the remaining 4-5 tortillas into chunky, bite-sized pieces.
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the 3 tablespoons oil. Add the tortillas, garlic and onion. Over medium heat saute until the onions are translucent. Don’t cook this over high heat because things will burn instead of getting just right.
- Stir in the tomatoes, enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, chicken broth, cumin, and chipotle chili powder. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, chop or shred the chicken.
- Add chicken and cilantro to soup and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite garnishes. Suggestions: sour cream; tortilla strips (above) or crushed tortilla chips; cheese such as jack, cheddar, or cotija (Mexican cheese–I found mine at Walmart in a separate refrigerated section devoted to Mexican products); chopped cilantro, green onions, or tomatoes; guacamole.
Instructions for baking tortilla strips:
that’s some good cookin’ Copyright 2010