Mexico

Many years ago we attended our friend’s wedding in Mexico.  She is from there and her family threw a great day after the wedding party at a local beach resort.  They served a soup call Pozole.  It was made with pork and hominy and served with a variety of condiments and seasonings.

I have also always enjoyed tortilla soup, but had never really attempted to make it.  I liked the idea of tortillas in soup but didn’t like how they got all mushy and I am always looking for ways to use left over roasted chicken.  I also loved the idea of a basic soup base with all the acoutremonts served on the side like with Pozole.  

So I decided to combine all the things I liked about both soups into one tasty bowl of goodness.  

Tortilla Soup

Makes 2 meal size servings or 4 side servings

4 Cups of chicken broth
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T fresh jalapeno, minced

5 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1/4 cup of vegetable oil

1 cup chicken breast
1/4 cup onion, diced

cilantro, chopped
dried oregano
chili powder
hot sauce
minced jalapeno
chopped tomato
chopped avocado

Mix broth, garlic and 1 T jalapeno in a medium saucepan. Heat on med to med high heat. You want to bring it to a soft boil. Not too much, but more than a simmer. Let this go until the broth has reduced by almost half (15-20 min) and then turn to low and let simmer until ready to serve.

Before serving, taste the broth.  If it is too bland, you can reduce some more or add a little chicken bouillon. Reduce more if there is still more broth than you need or add bouillon if not. If it is too rich, then add a little water or broth until it is to your liking.

While the broth is cooking, complete the rest of the soup.

To make the tortilla chips, heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until the oil is nice and hot. Add the corn tortilla strips and spread out evenly around the pad. Let cook for a few minutes and then use tongs to turn the strips. It should take 5-7 minutes to cook the chips to crisp and golden brown, turning more and more as the time goes by. At the end you are probably continuously turning.

When they are done, use the tongs to remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Salt generously right away before they cool even a little, toss to coat salt and set aside.

Just don’t expect these to be perfect the first time, it can take a little practice to get them just right. It is so worth it to make your own chips though, they stay crisp in the soup and are so much tastier than any store bought you will find.

As a side note, you could make these chips in any shape for any purpose. They are awesome with guacamole. Yummm!

Get the soup bowls you will be serving out and place a couple of tablespoons of diced onion and 1 teaspoon of fresh minced jalapeno in the each bowl. If you don’t want it spicy, omit fresh jalapeno.

This is a great meal to use left over chicken with. Simply shred it up and put about 1/2 cup in the bottom of each bowl with the onion and jalapeno.

If you don’t have left over chicken, just cube the raw chicken breast and saute it with a teaspoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Then add to bowls as stated above.

Place the cilantro, tomato and avocado either separately in small serving dishes or together on a plate to be put on the table. You will also need to put the chili powder and dried oregano jars on the table along with your favorite Mexican hot sauce. These can then all be added by each individual to taste.

Remove the paper towels and place the tortillas on the table as well.

Fill each bowl with broth and serve with large soup spoons.

Each individual can add the condiments to their liking and add tortillas a little as you go so they stay nice and crisp.

My husband really likes a simple cheese quesadilla to dip in his soup. For me, the soup is plenty.

This can also be easily scaled for a larger crowd. You will need 2 cups of broth (reduced to 1 cup) and 1/2 cup of chicken for each person, plus enough of all the acoutremonts to go around.