Sunday, August 5, 2007

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is my favorite soup recipe and one that I make frequently. Somehow tortilla soup sounds good even in the blistering heat of August. And the house smells so good when it's on the stove. This recipe comes from The Common Grill Cookbook, a very nice collection of dishes by Craig Common. His herbed pizza dough is one of my favorites and he has a lovely chicken, sweet potato, and corn chowder. This tortilla soup starts with a mirepoix (saute of onions, carrots, and celery) for a great flavor base and then combines red, yellow, poblano, black and crushed red peppers for a nice heat. Continue for recipe.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
adapted from The Common Grill Cookbook

1 small onion (red or white--use 1/2 of a large onion), finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb. carrots, finely diced
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/2 large yellow pepper, diced (or red if you don't have a yellow)
1 Poblano pepper, finely diced
1/2 t oregano (2 pinches)
1 t cumin
1 T kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 28 oz. can Italian-style plum tomatoes (or 2 smaller cans), chopped, diced, or left in large chunks
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water (or a bit more if you want a little more broth)
1 lb. chicken, cooked and diced

6 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips, pan fried to top soup (or tortilla chips)

Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, approx. 5 min.
Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Arit in carrots and celery and cook until carrots are soft, about 6-8 min.
Thoroughly mix in peppers, oregano, cumin, slat, black and red pepper flakes.
Stir in tomatoes, broth, and water and simmer for 30 min.
Add diced chicken and continue cooking for an additional 30 min. (The longer this soup sits, the better the flavor).
Top with tortilla strips.

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