Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chicken "Tortilla the HUNgry" Soup

  I tried chicken tortilla soup when I came to college.  I really had never heard of it before then, but I really liked it.  And if you like the college cafeteria version of something, you know the real one is probably even better.

But every recipe called for things like "a whole chicken" or "12 cups of water" and a big o' stockpot...

Ok...but I am one person.  And I just want a couple of bowls.  Not a week's worth.  So, as per my usual I set out to make the kind of tortilla soup I would like, in a size that was right up my alley. 

This soup makes about 2-3 bowls.

-2 chicken tenderloins (or 1 chicken breast, whichever you buy)
-2.5 c water
-2 TB butter
-2 large rings of an onion, chopped finely
-1/2 regular tomato, diced
-1/2 c halved cherry tomatoes
-1/4 bell pepper diced (or equivalent in sweet peppers)
-3/4 tsp taco seasoning
-1/2 tsp garlic
-Salt and Pepper
-Cilantro (fresh) to taste (see the picture for an idea of what I used, maybe a TB? it was about 8 leaves, chopped)

Now, if you want a thicker more tomato-y broth, you might opt to use tomato juice/paste in here instead of some of the tomatoes or water.  I happen to like broth on the clear side.

Put the chicken, water, and butter in a pot (I used the bigger of my two normal Rachael Ray's) and turn it on about medium high. 

Chop up all your veggies and goodies.  I like to squish my cherry tomatoes a little to go ahead and coax some juice out in a bowl.

It took me about 10-15 minutes to get everything prepared, and I had my chicken cooking that whole time, and I had put it directly in frozen.  You may want to adjust the times a little if yours is already thawed or you have everything chopped in advance.

After I had everything in the bath, I put the lid on and let it all boil for about 30 minutes.  I kept it at a lower boil, so you may need to turn down your heat a tad.  I let mine roll at a little over 4 on my gas range.
 At the end of the thirty, taste your broth and adjust seasonings as needed.

Let it cook another 20 minutes (covered) and then pull out your chicken.

Use two forks and a cutting board and shred it in to small pieces.

Look at that shred.  Perfection.

Put the chicken back in your soup, turn the heat down to low, put the lid back on, and let it do its thing for another 10 minutes.

Serve up your soup with some chips and sour cream or guac or avocado, or whatever else you want to top it off with!

My question from all of this though, is why don't people put rice in this soup? It seems like rice would be delicious!

Next time I am DEFINITELY adding rice.

Happy souping!

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