"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been in one of my unmotivated, "I need something new, exciting, yet quick to cook!" modes. I snagged this recipe from the Pioneer Woman blog. It's nothing that new (I have a recipe similar for the crock pot, but different ingredients), but it is a nice change form the Taco (beef) Soup I make during the cold months. I really enjoyed it. I didn't use the whole corn tortillas. Remember I am unmotivated and lazy right now! I simply crunched corn chips into it-EASY! This recipe was easy but doesn't win the race for being the quickest start to finish.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
ADAPTED from Pioneer Women's blog (I've changed many of the spices)

2 Whole Boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (Or use 1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies)
1/2 (4 oz) can diced chilies (Omit if using the Rotel)
8 cups Chicken Broth (made with my chicken base or bouillon)
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water (I left this out hoping to not need to simmer for reduction to save time)
2 cans Black Beans, Drained
5 Whole Corn Tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2 to 3 inches {or Corn chips ;-)}

Sour Cream
Diced Avocado
Diced Red Onion
Salsa or Pico De Gallo
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili peppers, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon olive oil chicken breast, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red peppers, green peppers, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir. Pour in tomatoes, chilies, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings adding more if needed--add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under salt. Turn off hear and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream and your other favorite garnishes.

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