Extreme Makeover: Chicken Soup Addition

Everyone loves the comfort of a bowl of steamy chicken soup on a cold day. This time of year always gets me excited to try new soup recipes and I found one that is easy and delicious. I also tried making my own stock for the first time. There were definitely some things I would do differently (bigger chicken, use less water, remember celery at the grocery store), but I think it did make a huge difference. This recipe that I found includes the recipe for chicken stock and there is extra that you can freeze for another round of soup. Those of you from Chicago may have been to one of my fav brunch spots, Feast, in Bucktown and I am obsessed with their tortilla soup. Well, let's get serious, I order tortilla soup anywhere I see it on the menu. The version at Feast has a beautifully rich broth that you can tell was made from scratch. I think this recipe is pretty close and can be tweaked in so many ways. Be generous with the salt and pepper and feel free to add more heat!

Mexican Tortilla Soup
Adapted from, Tyler Florence
serves 4

2 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalappenos, seeded and minced
3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of corn kernals (fresh or frozen would work, just thaw out the frozen kernals before using)
1 quart chicken stock (recipe follows or use store bought)
Salt and Pepper
Canola Oil, for pan frying
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8 inch strips
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (if you make the stock, use the stock chicken. Or use a rotisserie chicken from the market to save time!)

2 avacados, halved, pitted and diced
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese
1/2 cup (or more!) of coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, but in wedges, for serving (squeeze lime juice over each bowl before serving)

Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos and tomatoes and cook until cooked down and pulpy. About 15 minutes and continue to stir. Pour in the stock and chicken, season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, simmer for 20 minutes over low heat, covered.

Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until crisp (It takes just a few seconds!) Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top each bowl with the avacado, tortilla strips, cheese, cilantro and lime.

Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs), rinsed, giblets removed
2 carrots, cut in large chunks (no need to peel)
3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
2 large onions, quartered
1 large head of garlic, top cut off so cloves are exposed (skins and all)
1 turnip, halved
handful of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
Place everything in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough water to cover (about 3 quarts). Bring pot to a boil, then lower to medium low heat and gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface (you will notice it in the beginning if it happens, 30 min in). you can add more water to keep the chicken covered if necessary.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container. Carefully strain the liquid through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately for the soup, or if you are going to store it, make sure to cool completely before placing in the fridge (good for 1 week) or freezer. (yields 2 quarts)

1 comment:

Jack said...

The thing I enjoy the most during Winter is eating soup! This looks like a great recipe of Mexican tortilla soup and I am going to bookmark this so I can make some tortilla soup for myself during Winter!

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