2.07.2010

Tangy Tortilla Soup


Tortilla Soup, originally uploaded by helenlikesyou.

Last Thursday I was, as a delightfully supportive friend pointed out to me, the least-illustrious of ten cooks contributing soup to the Brooklyn iteration of Soup & Bread, the awesome Chicago event that's every Wednesday night at the Hideout. The deal is you go to the bar and the soup (and bread) is free, but the bar benefits because you buy drinks, and then also you put some cash in the hat to support anti-hunger efforts. Yay! If I do say so myself, my soup was quite lovely, and stood its own against the more pedigreed contributions on hand from folks from places like Roberta's and Jimmy's No. 43.

It's an ugly picture (tortilla soup is never pretty, guys) but it's super delish, basically a kluged-together Mexican iteration of Tom Yum soup. Mr. B christened it "tangy tortilla soup," thanks probably to the vast quantities of lime juice, and so be it.

Marvelously, it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare (30 if you haven't pre-shredded the chicken) and only dirties one pot. It's very easily scalable.

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Tangy Tortilla Soup
4 tbs olive oil
One store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat coarsely shredded (about 3 cups) (Keep the carcass to make stock!)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (or, if it's summer, fresh tomatoes: skinned, seeded, and diced, juice reserved)
Pinch cumin
Pinch onion powder (not onion salt)
2 tbs salt
Juice of 4 limes (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar

For garnish:
Tortilla chips
Diced avocado
Minced cilantro
Sour cream
Lime wedges
Hot sauce

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, sautee the garlic until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Add the minced jalapeno and sautee another 10-15 seconds. Dump in the shredded chicken and incorporate the garlic/pepper mixture, turn up the heat to medium. Folding constantly, sautee until the garlic is just barely browning, then remove from the pot and reserve.

Combine the chicken stock, tomatoes, spices, salt, and lime juice in the pot and heat until simmering. Add the lime juice and hot sauce and return to a simmer, skimming any foam. Stir in the reserved chicken/garlic/chili mixture. Return to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes and chicken are slightly disintegrated.

While the soup is simmering, prepare the garnishes: Dice avocado (toss it with lime juice to keep it from browning), mince the cilantro, slice limes into wedges, crush your tortilla chips, whatever is to your taste.

Just before serving, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the white wine vinegar. Serve: I prefer to fill the bowls with the tortilla chips first, then the soup, then the other garnishes, but it's all the same in the end. Serves 6-10, depending on how hungry you are.

6 comments:

nadarine said...

"discard skin"? psssh. Harken back to Food Wishlist and replace "discard" with "tear off and eat skin with fingers".

Hell, I now want crispy delicious roast chicken skin. Is midnight too late to procure and roast a chicken?

Alysa said...

I’m reminded of the Lord of the rings quote – “Nothing said before the word ‘but’ really counts.
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addysmith92 said...

ou are probably playing on an old version of the game
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