Ann’s Amazing Chicken Tortilla Soup
I have been in love with chicken tortilla soup forever it seems … the crunch of tortilla chips and dreamy melted cheese in a hot, spicy steamy chicken-laden broth with Mexican spices. Mmmmmm …
I’ve made chicken tortilla soup before, but none that pleased me as well as this one. This one was even better than the best I’d had in restaurants–yes! I finally found the brothy perfection that I’ve desired all these years. I served it to my friend for dinner one night when she dropped by unexpectedly … she had had chicken tortilla soup for lunch, but she sweetly agreed to try mine anyway because she DID need a little to eat. After tasting it, she said mine was SO much better … and when was I going to post the recipe? I told her I had yet to photograph it, but I would post it.
The hardest part was really photographing this soup in January in the frozen tundra that I live in. I take all my food photographs outside … this becomes a bit of a problem in the winter here when daylight is limited (and I have a day job, btw), and even more of a problem when it gets so cold outside I can’t open my back door to the patio (where I take all my food photos). On top of that, there is snow everywhere which seems like it would be a good thing, but snow reflects blue light onto food (and the coloring gets all OFF!) and does a great job of blinding some of the photos. And then, if the food is hot (as it is with a hot soup), I have the added problem of steam on the camera lens.
I did a couple photo shoots on this soup and after this last one, I accidentally left the placemat outside and then the door froze shut. I can see my placemat, but can’t retrieve it without trudging through a foot of snow to get around the house. On top of that, I’m not going to get another opportunity to shoot before the soup is done. I guess these photos are going to have to do. I hope you will believe me when I say this soup is one of the best chicken tortilla soups ever. There are little slips of chicken swimming everywhere. I know you can’t see it in the photos … somehow I managed to hide the plethora of chicken under the cheese in the photo. The spices are perfect, the broth is perfect, the amount of spicy heat is perfect too and the touch of cilantro, that is just what it needed to make it absolutely amazing.
I made the chicken broth using the remains of a rotisserie chicken. See the notes on the recipe–it worked like a dream!
- 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon butter
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 pint fire-roasted tomatoes (or a 15-oz. can of tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 - 2 hot peppers (jalapenos or salsa peppers), chopped (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- For serving: tortilla chips and shredded sharp cheddar and/or pepper jack cheese
- In a soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the carrot and saute a few minutes longer.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, spices and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 20 - 30 minutes. Stir in the chicken and hot peppers and adjust the heat to your liking by adding more hot pepper as desired.
- Stir in the cilantro. To serve, put several tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, top with cheese, then pour the hot soup over. Eat it before the chips get soggy!
To make a great homemade chicken broth: clean the meat off of a roasted chicken, then cover the carcass in water and add large hunks of onion, garlic, and carrot to the water along with a bay leaf. Boil/simmer for 30 minutes or more. Strain out the bones and veggies. Stir in Better than Boullion or salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Full Plate Thursday.