Over the weekend, I was craving soup. No particular soup, just soup. Adam suggested chicken tortilla soup. I love chicken tortilla soup, but I've never made it, so I set out to find a recipe. When in doubt, I always run to Paula Deen for new recipes, but I'm quickly learning to also check with my girl, Pioneer Woman. Oh that Ree Drummond, she's good!
As suspected, her chicken tortilla soup was A-MAZ-ING! Definitely one for the books! Here's the recipe with my tweeks in red:
2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used about eight chicken breast tenderloins)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-½ teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies (I used Hot Rotel, because that's all they had at Kroger, but it turned out to be a good thing - recommend the Hot for a little extra kick)
32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water
2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
FOR THE GARNISHES:
Diced Red Onion
Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. 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.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (about 15 minutes with the chicken breast tenderloins), or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
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.
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. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips. (I put the tortilla strips into the soup after it was dipped out, because I didn't want any strips left floating around in the pot)
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)