Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mexican Chicken Soup

This was the perfect lunch for a rainy cloudy day. I thought it was going to be like a tortilla soup, but it was much thicker. I would say it is closer to a Mexican vegetable soup. The boiled tortillas that are added at the end thicken the soup a lot and taste like dumplings. The chicken works well in the dish, but you could just as easily leave it out and still have a great meal. Using the meat from a rotisserie would also cut down the cooking/prep time. I think corn or beans would also be a nice addition. If you like your soup to have a little kick, I would recommend leaving some of the seeds in or adding more peppers. This recipe makes a good pot full so I have several servings frozen for some good chilly rainy day weather.

I'm submitting this recipe to Joelen's Food Network Chef's Blogging event. Joelen has an amazing blog and she makes me wish I lived in Chicago so I could attend one of her many cooking classes, tastings or culinary tours. She is a true foodie!

Mexican Chicken Soup
Source: Barefoot Contessa at Home

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.


Joelen said...

This looks awesome! I like thicker soups because they tend to fill me up more and the use of tortillas as a thickener is such a great idea. If you wanted, you could even submit this to the FN Chefs blogging event I'm hosting... entries are due at the end of this week!

Colleen said...

I love soups with mexican flavors! once fall hits I start bringing them to work everyday! This one looks delicious!