Allez, Cuisine! Chicken Tortilla Soup

Claire Littlefield and Emma Ellis

Every time the weather turns cold, we try to convince you to make homemade soup. We tell you that it will be “warm” and “hearty,” and that an hour or two of cooking will produce meals that you’ll enjoy for a week. We try to evoke images of childhood comforts and collegiate practicality that will inspire you to pass up the Campbell’s and make your own bubbling pot of magic. If we’re being honest, though, we know that with all the chopping, stirring and waiting, it can be difficult to get too energized about soup – even we were hitting a bit of a rut.

This recipe for chicken tortilla soup is going to change all of that. Forget those other snuggly-yet-safe soups – this meal is exciting. The combination of lime juice and green chiles gives the broth a tangy heat that, along with the addition of classic Tex-Mex ingredients like corn, black beans and cumin, adds complexity to the simple-yet-substantial base of pulled chicken and store-bought stock. It’s also a great excuse to bust out all of your favorite taco toppings like cilantro, sour cream, cheese and avocados. Add in some crunchy tortilla strips, make a margarita if you’re over 21 and you’ve got yourself a party.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

2-3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium onion

2 bell peppers, one red and one green

2 cloves of garlic

32 ounces of low sodium chicken stock

1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes

2 (15 oz) cans of black beans

2 (15 oz) cans of corn

1 cup salsa verde

1 tsp cumin

? tsp chile powder

4 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice

 Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Tortillas

Avocado, cilantro and cheese for topping

Process:

1. Sprinkle the chicken with adobo seasoning, and then pan fry (or roast, if you prefer) until cooked through. Set aside.

2. Chop the red and green peppers, onions and garlic.

3. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a large saucepan saut?ee the vegetables over medium heat until they are softened and the onions are translucent.

4. While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken using two forks.

5. Then add the chicken, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, salsa verde, black beans, corn, chile powder, cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper. If the soup doesn’t have enough fluid to cover the vegetables by an inch or so, add in a few cups of water.

6. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat and keep it at a simmer for at least half an hour. During this period you can taste the soup and adjust seasonings like the salsa verde, cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper to taste.

7. While the soup is simmering, cut a few tortillas into strips, sprinkle some olive oil on them and bake them in a 350-degree oven until crisp and slightly browned.

8. Serve the soup with the tortilla strips, and extras like sliced avocado, cilantro, sour cream and cheese.

Contact Claire Littlefield at [email protected] Emma Ellis at [email protected]