CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Anytime we are in a restaurant and tortilla soup is on the menu, I order it. It has to be one of my all time favorite things to eat. On a rainy day it is usually the first thing I think of making for dinner. Tonight it rained in California. This might be the last rain we see for awhile, so I decided to make soup before summer. Otherwise, I have to wait until fall to cook soup. This homemade recipe is delicious, but time consuming. You can cut the time in half by using store bought chicken stock and shredded chicken. I understand we are all busy but we usually have one slow day in the week to prepare a homemade meal. If I make a homemade meal I will take a couple days off from cooking, and reheat the left overs during the week. This is a recipe that is worthy of your time and excellent to entertain with.
Ingredients for Chicken Stock
1 whole roaster (about 4-5 pounds) rinsed giblets discarded, 2 carrots cut in large chunks, 3 celery stalks cut in large chunks, 2 large white onions quartered, 1 head of garlic halved, 1 turnip halved, 1/4 bunch fresh thyme,2 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns.
Ingredients for Tortilla Strips and topping
5 corn tortillas 1/8 inch strips, 1 cup canola oil for frying, avocado slices, 1/2 cup of frozen corn, lime wedges, and cilantro chopped to finish.
Ingredients for Tomato Jus
5 tomatoes, 2 large sliced white onions, 2 poblano peppers, 1 head of garlic, 1 jalapeño seeded, 1/4 cup of frozen corn, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, handful of fried tortilla strips, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Preparation of Chicken Stock
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover chicken and vegetables; too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours partially covered until the chicken is done. Add a little more water if necessary as it cooks to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat and set aside.
Carefully strain the stock into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Throw away vegetable scraps. Place the stock onto the stovetop and add the shredded chicken back into the stock.
Chicken Stock recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Preparation of Tortilla Strips
Place 5 corn tortillas on top of each other and cut into 1/8 inch thick strips.
Then on medium high heat add canola oil to non-stick skillet. When oil is hot add small batches of strips until golden brown. Season with kosher salt immediately.
Preparation of Tomato Jus
While the chicken stock is cooking, pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F. Place tomatoes, poblano peppers, seeded jalapeños, onions, and garlic on a cookie sheet. The flesh of the garlic should be exposed and foil wrapped around the garlic shells to prevent burning. Add a drizzle of olive oil over all the vegetables.
Each of these vegetables finish roasting at different times. The tomatoes and jalapeño will be done in 12 minutes. The poblano peppers, onions and garlic will finish in 20 minutes. When they are done roasting the tomatoes skin will peel off very easily discard skins then place the tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a blender. Add a handful of tortilla strips and 1/4 cup of corn and blend all the ingredients until smooth. Place the roasted poblano peppers in a sealed, gallon size, ziploc bag. Allow the chiles to sweat in the ziploc bag for 20 minutes. Remove the stems, skin, and seeds from the chiles. Chop poblano peppers and set aside.
Add Tomato Jus, chopped poblano peppers, and 1/2 cup frozen corn into chicken stock. Season soup with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of cumin. Allow soup to simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. It may need more salt. To plate add soup to the bowl and top with squeeze of fresh lime juice, avocado slices, cilantro and tortillas strips. Enjoy!