Chicken Tortilla Soup (with Cornbread recipe)

IMG_8571_

Hello my babies.

It’s raining here in Victoria and when I think of rain, I inevitably think of soup. (Obviously, what a cliche train of thought…This girl is so boring.) When I was growing up, my mom would make soup or stew on rainy days, and I would cry. It seems kind of dramatic, but soup just isn’t my style. The only thing that made me cry faster than soup was being dragged along to Fabricland with my mom. A stranger’s van is more kid-friendly than Fabricland. (Sorry, mom. Love you.) Anyway, let’s get back to this bangin’ SOUP.

If you like chili con carne, you will like this soup. I swear it. It is full of flavour, and actually I might even dare to say it is healthy. In one spoonful you’ll get shredded chicken, black beans, crispy fried tortilla strips, fresh avocado, cilantro, and cold sour cream to cool it all down. If you want to go all the way, you’ll even squeeze a fresh lime wedge into each serving.

The cornbread is the perfect addition to the soup as well. It’s sweet and kind of spongy, so it’s great to mop up any leftover soup, or for express dippin’ along the way. It reminds me of that scene from The Green Mile where John Coffey gets a loaf of cornbread all wrapped up in tea towels from Paul’s wife. It looked SO GOOD. I don’t know why. It just looked so homemade.

PS – don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients – this is a totally simple recipe. You can do it!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 11/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 5 whole corn tortillas, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

To garnish (optional):

  • avocado, diced
  • cilantro
  • lime wedge
  • dollop of sour cream

Cornbread:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

*To skip my bullshit pictures and get to the whole recipe, scroll to the bottom.


Method:

If you are opting not to make the classic cornbread, scroll down.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8×8″ square pan.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and butter. Whisk into dry ingredients.

Pour into greased pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

YA DONE. Set cornbread aside and move onto the soup.

IMG_8433For the soup:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.

IMG_8437Drizzle chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle them with a small amount of the spice you just mixed – both sides please. Set aside the remaining spice, you’re going to use it!
 IMG_8447

Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until done. Use two forks to pull it apart into shreds. Put it aside.

IMG_8458IMG_8467

While the chicken is baking, you’re going to fry the tortilla strips. The original recipe actually just threw them in “raw”, but I like the crunch in my soup, the security knowing they won’t go soggy, and also they are a snack for me while I cook.

In a large steel pan or pot, heat 6 tablespoons canola (or vegetable oil) on medium-high. Add half the tortilla strips and cook until pale golden – approximately one minute. Remove with a slotted spoon (or with two forks, which I did, which isn’t a great idea) and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips. Set aside. Or start snacking.


IMG_8443
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium high. Throw in the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir, then add the remaining spice. Stir together, then add shredded chicken. Stir, bitch, stir!

Pour in crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, green chiles, tomato paste, and black beans. Bring soup to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.


IMG_8462Mix the cornmeal with a bit of water, and add to the soup. Stir well, so it doesn’t clump*. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust the spices as you’d like – you may want to add more salt, chili powder etc.  Let cool a little before eating – this soup is hot like Charlie Hunnam.

*I didn’t stir the cornmeal enough, so the cornmeal formed little clumps. As I was eating my first bowl, I started to chew on one of these clumps. I freaked out and hurriedly spit it into my spoon because I didn’t know what the fuck it was – maybe some kind of poison? Anyway it really upset the culinary high I was on before this clump appeared. No clumps, please.

Just before serving, toss in tortilla strips. Garnish with diced avocado, cilantro and sour cream. YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE THE SOUR CREAM IT’S DELICIOUS.
    IMG_8544_  IMG_8588_

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle them with a small amount of the spice you just mixed – both sides please.

Set aside the remaining spice, you’re going to use it!

Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until done. Use two forks to pull it apart into shreds. Put it aside.

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium high. Throw in the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir, then add the remaining spice. Stir together, then add shredded chicken.

Pour in crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, green chiles, tomato paste, and black beans. Bring soup to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix the cornmeal with a bit of water, and add to the soup. Stir well, so it doesn’t clump*. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust the spices as you’d like – you may want to add more salt, chili powder etc. Let cool a little before eating.

Just before serving, toss in tortilla strips. Garnish with diced avocado, cilantro and sour cream.

I hope somebody else loves this as much as I did, and please let me know if you tried it out – or even if you totally fucked it up! We can laugh about it and become fast friends. Please??????

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman & Cornbread recipe from Chatelaine 

Comments

comments

You may also like

5 Comments

  1. I love Tortilla Soup 🙂 And cornbread!!! Great minds think alike….my cornbread is currently in the oven! Nothing like filling the house with the smells of comfort food when it’s pouring rain outside. Thanks for sharing yet again another great recipe. Going to have to make soup this week! Cheers Mel

      1. Fabulous recipe my dear! Made it for hubby tonight. I always find this time of year confusing when it comes to cooking. I start craving heartier meals but then when the sun starts shining I just want to BBQ. So I figured today was a good day for a Mexican inspired meal….a bowl full of sunshine if you will 🙂 The only change I made was adding corn instead of black beans ( I forgot I used the last of it in the chili last week) and some chipotle peppers! It was a hit!!! My man even went back for seconds. It made enough for lunch tomorrow as well as one full container for my freezer for another time. Thank you lovely lady for another fabulous recipe! Cheers 🙂

  2. Hey Mel!! I was actually going to add corn, too, but I ended up forgetting it! It’s good to know that I can change it out and still enjoy the soup as much. I am a little more afraid of chipotle peppers as I shy away from any kind of spice (big baby here).

    It does make a big portion and usually I hate leftovers but I was happy to eat this over and over. I think the fresh garnishes really put it over the top and avoid that stale flavour you sometimes get from reheated foods. I’m so glad you liked it! I’m always down for talking about food, any time.

    – The Love-ly, Penel-opy

    1. I used to shy away from spicy until I met my husband! When we were first married he’d make all these fabulous stir fries and curries. I’d come home from work absolutely famished and would of course immediately start wolfing it down before the fire alarms in my mouth would start going off. At least it taught me to eat more slowly and bit by bit I’ve built up my tolerance for spice…not volcano but definitely some heat!!! And you were soooo right about snacking on the tortilla crisps…I had to stow them away in the oven before dinner to stop myself!!!! And talking about food should be considered an activity or at least rate as some form of cardio 🙂 Cheers M

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *