Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I recently acquired my first crockpot. You would think that someone who cooks as much as I do would have bought one ages ago, but I was a hold out. And until last year when I borrowed one to make chili, and found it to be the best chili I'd ever made, I was convinced it was time to add one to my kitchen gadgets. My parents happened to have an extra one so I inherited a lovely model, circa 1985. With cold weather (fingers crossed!) on the way out, I thought I should make one more soup for the season.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 4-6)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, diced (with seeds)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • A few sprigs cilantro
  • 3 corn tortillas, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • Salt and pepper
  • Corn tortilla strips
  • Avocados
  • Limes
  • Cotija cheese
  • Sour cream 
Finely dice the onion, garlic, peppers, and celery and add them to a crockpot. Add the chicken breast, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, cumin seeds, chili powder, and chicken stock. The stock should just cover all the ingredients.

Cover and set the crockpot on low. Cook for 6-8 hours.

Remove bay leaves. Remove chicken breasts, shred with a fork into small pieces, and return to crockpot.

Add in cilantro sprigs, corn, and a few corn tortillas cut into bits. Let the crockpot simmer for another 30-60 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

To make tortilla strips, dice corn tortillas into strips and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.

Serve soup piled high with tortilla strips, diced avocado, lime wedges, crumbled cotija cheese, and sour cream.

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