Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Chicken (sort of) tortilla soup

I graduated from grad school last July and am still on the rebound. I never packed lunch because there were so many semi-healthy options mere steps from my office. The Daily Grind (DG as we lovingly called it), had a rotating soup menu and my absolute favorite was the chicken enchilada soup. It was spicy, creamy, chock-full of veggies and beans and simply comfort in a bowl (ok, paper soup carton but whatever!). But now sadly its become a long lost taste memory (its a dramatic kinda day...). So today, thanks to snow-questration and leftover roast chicken, I decided to reincarnate the taste memory with this tortilla soup. I basically threw in whatever was lying around and it was yumm. Its a very flexible recipe so get creative!


For Soup

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 pack McCormick Chili spice mix, hot (if you don't have this mix 1 tbsp each of cumin, garlic and paprika powder)
1 cup eggplant, chopped (optional, I didn't have any but its sooo good here) 
3 cups cooked (or 2 raw) chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 jar of salsa (medium heat)
1 carton chicken stock
3 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
4 cups hot water
3 tbsp corn meal 
1 can of white/black beans
1 cup frozen corn (optional, I didn't have any)
Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested toppings

Green onions, chopped (I didn't have any)
Sour cream
Frito chips/ Tortilla strips
Cilantro, chopped (I didn't have any)
Cheese of choice, shredded


Pour oil in a deep and large saucepan. Add onions, peppers, garlic, chili spice mix and eggplant (if using). Saute till all the vegetables soften. Add cooked chicken and mix well. If using raw chicken, saute till chicken is opaque and cooked through. Add salsa and cook for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and tomato paste/ ketchup. Taste the soup and adjust salt and pepper to taste. I actually added a few swigs of hot sauce too. Bring heat down real low and simmer the soup for about half an hour. Mix the corn meal in hot water in a separate bowl and add that to the soup, stirring constantly. Add the beans and let cook for another half an hour. Add the corn and let cook for 3 minutes. Garnish with toppings of choice after serving in bowls.


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