Tag Archives: southwestern

Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla

~ Chicken Tortilla Soup ~

This soup is all about leftovers. We roasted a whole chicken for dinner the other night, and ended up with a lot of meat. When this happens I’ll use the leftovers in a soup or stew, prepared with a homemade stock from the carcass.  The vegetables are inspired by the odds and ends in my vegetable drawer (fennel and carrots) matched with a few must-haves (onion and garlic) and pantry staples (canned Italian plum tomatoes and black beans). I spiced up the stock with warming southwestern spices in defiance of the dreary drizzle outside, and finished the soup with a shower of shattered tortilla chips, which happened to be leftover in the bottom of their bag – too small for swiping through a bowl of salsa.

Chicken Tortilla view

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Season and spice the soup to your taste. Ideally it should have a little heat, but since our family is divided on what constitutes “spicy”, I pass a bottle of hot sauce around the table so everyone can fire up the soup to their taste. Serves 4 to 6.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large fennel bulb, fronds and bottom removed, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons pasilla chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (28 ounce) can chopped Italian plum tomatoes with juice
3 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Tortilla chips
Diced avocado, optional
Hot sauce

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and sauté until softened, 2 minutes. Add carrots, fennel and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes. Add jalapeño, cumin, chile powder, paprika and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the spices are fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and partially cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add sugar if necessary. Stir in the chicken and black beans. Continue to cook until heated through. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and avocado, if using. Pass the hot sauce.