Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tortilla Soup

I love spicy food, especially when it gets hot outside. And boy, it sure is hot here. Heat indexes of around 100 degrees F all week. The skies are bright blue with big fluffy white clouds and no trace of rain. Woohoo! Great days to hang around at the lake and enjoy the Midwestern sumer.

It's odd to think that a week ago it was 63 and raining. But then again, it was perfect weather to make my favorite Tortilla Soup. This originally started out as Rachael Ray's Chicken Tortilla Soup with Chipotle and Fire Roasted Tomato but over time it has sort of evolved into a "kitchen sink" type soup, good for using up anything extras you have lying around. No red onions? Use yellow. No cilantro? Throw in some scallions. No black beans? Pinto's will work. One thing that can't be changed IMO, is the fire roasted tomatoes. They give the soup a great flavor that is just missing in regular diced tomatoes.

For me, 30 minutes is too long to make lunch so I'm always looking for shortcuts. For this soup, I use pre-cooked chicken, usually Tyson Diced Chicken Breast. I also try to keep plastic containers of pre-chopped onions in the fridge so that cuts even more off the prep time. I like this soup with some added black beans and if I'm out of chicken, I'll just add a few more beans. And if I'm really in a hurry, I'll use that pre-cooked bacon that, thanks to Jill from Simple Daily Recipes, that I keep in my freezer all the time. ;-)

Teresa's Tortilla Soup
Inspired by Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons sauce
1 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (14.5-ounce)
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed, or to taste
4 cups chicken stock
lightly crushed corn tortilla chips
shredded cheddar cheese
1 lime
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
Freshly chopped cilantro leaves

In a soup pot, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp; Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain off excess fat from pan, leaving a little to flavor the onions. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and cook 5 minutes then stir in chipotles and tomatoes. Add diced chicken and beans to pot. Add chicken stock and simmer until heated through.

Place a few crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of each soup bowl. Cover cheddar cheese then ladle the hot soup over it. Sprinkle with lime, raw onions and cilantro and serve.


Elle said...

Oh wow, this looks fantastic! I've always wanted to make tortilla soup, but never seem to get around to it. This definitely looks like one to bookmark!

Lynne J. said...

You go, girl!

Looks like you definitely threw down on this soup. I love tortilla soup, but believe it or not, I've never made it myself. Gonna have to get around to that.