Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

So, the other day at lunch, a lady I work with was eating the best looking soup I have ever seen.  She said it was Chicken Tortilla Soup, so I decided it was a necessity for me to find a recipe of my own and make it this weekend!  I found the perfect recipe at TastyKitchen.com and changed up a few things, and THIS is the final product:

2 Whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 3 because mine were kind of small)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper (I LOVE red bell pepper, so I used 1/2 cup)
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies
32 ounces, Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water
2 cans (15 oz.) Black Beans, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal
5 Whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 to 3 Inches

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
Step 2:  Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides.  Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Step 3:  Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done.  While the chicken is cooking, dice the onion and bell pepper.  When chicken is done, use 2 forks to shred and set aside.

Step 4:  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat.  Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic.
Step 5:  Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix.
Step 6:  Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Step 7:  Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Step 8:  Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water.  Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Check seasonings, adding more if needed--add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt.
Step 9:  While the soup is simmering, cut the tortillas into strips (I used a pizza cutter to do this).
Step 10:  Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.  Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
So, here are my thoughts on the recipe:

1.  I thought it was delicious, and will definitely make it again...with a few changes.
2.  I don't think the next time that I will cook it for quite so long...my chicken was a little well done, and I think this would prevent that.
3.  I don't think it was thick enough, so next time I'll probably add the tortilla strips earlier in the cooking process.

Overall, it was really yummy!