My oldest sister has been making this chicken tortilla soup for years. I’ve made it a few times according to her recipe. Recently I waned to add some extra spice to it and experiment a bit.
This is a riff off my sister’s recipe for chicken tortilla soup. It’s flavorful, easy to throw together and is great for leftovers as well.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
1 ancho chili
1 bay leaf
Dash of chili powder
46.5 ounces low sodium chicken broth*
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4-6 cloves of garlic**
1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 (15 ounce) can of corn
*46.5 ounces is equal to 1 (32 ounce) carton plus 1 (14.5 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth
**If you use minced dried garlic like I do the use a big teaspoon.
Start by cooking the chicken. You can even do it the day before if you know you will be pressed for time. I poached the chicken with a bay leaf, ancho chili, salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in your favorite big soup pot. When it’s hot but not sizzling, add the spices and garlic. After about 8 minutes or so when the spices smell spicy and delicious, add in the remaining ingredients, starting with the chicken broth. When you add the broth be sure to give the bottom of the pot a bit of a scrape to get all the spices mixed in.
Then just let the soup simmer away for about an hour. Give it at least 45 minutes. An hour and a half is probably ideal. Keep an eye on it. It should simmer but not boil.
Lastly, ladle into bowls. Put on your favorite toppings and enjoy.
The ancho chile turned the broth a bright red color. It seemed like the more everything cooked together, the broth became darker and more homogenous.
I like spicy food and so does Paul, so I thought adding dried chiles would be an easy way to update a classic family recipe. And it was!
I found one more easy way to update this soup. I had leftovers for a few days, so to make it a little different, I put half a serving in the blender, leaving out the chicken pieces. The corn, tomato and beans blended nicely and the soup became thicker, almost like a chowder.
Have you ever experimented with a favorite old recipe?