Mexican Chicken (or Turkey) Soup

November 27, 2008 at 10:00 am 3 comments

Tortilla Soup

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope that this post finds you well, and FULL!  This Thursday’s Barefoot Bloggers recipe is pretty simple (more so if you have leftover chicken from this recipe) – a twist on a classic.  Start with your average, basic chicken soup with celery, carrots and onions, but add tomatoes and jalapenos for kick.  Those were nice additions, I thought, but the true revelation of the recipe was the tortillas.  Having never made a mexican soup before, I was skeptical about putting strips of corn tortillas into the pot.  Were they meant to act as thick Mexican-style noodles?  What would they taste like in my mouth?  I was imagining the texture of thick, soggy bread strips and I almost gagged.

To my surprise, the effect of adding the corn tortilla strips is to thicken the soup in a most delightful way.  The strips disolve into the broth, giving it a stew-like texture that was unexpected and quite pleasing.  When I brought this soup into the lunchroom the next afternoon, my colleagues ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the smell and the look of it.  And I didn’t even go all out with avocado garnish!  I imagine that if you are left with several pounds of cooked turkey after today, as I inevitably will be, you could easily use it to make this soup.  And while everyone else will be eating their third day of turkey with cranberry sauce, or their twelfth bowl of turkey noodle soup, you will be the envy of the Thanksgiving-leftover-lunchroom.  I would bet that some black beans in this soup would probably make you forget you were even eating leftovers.  Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Soup, from Barefoot Contessa at Home

2 split (1 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin onchicken-shred
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 c. chopped onions (1 onions)
1/2 c. chopped celery (1 stalks)
1 c. chopped carrots (2 carrots)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 of a 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed*
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
2-3 Tbs.chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
3 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chipstortillas

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 1 1/2 Tbs. 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 1/2 tsp. salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1/2 tsp. 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.Chicken soup tortillas

* I halved this recipe, so I only used 1/2 a can of whole tomatoes.  The other half I used for a quick pasta sauce the next night – very easy.  Just make sure you don’t store the unused tomatoes in the can.  I think that it gives them a weird flavor.

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Entry filed under: Recipe, Soup. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Suzie  |  November 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I was amazed by the totillas too. Great suggestion for the leftover turkey!

  • 2. debinhawaii  |  November 27, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    This was a great soup. I think turkey and black beans would be perfect in it too.

  • 3. Erik  |  December 7, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    This is a great change from the same-old turkey soup from every year. Nice job!

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