As I sit here on this rainy & chilly day, my mind and appetite turn to soup.
This recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup is a hearty soup that is quick (especially if you use leftover or store-bought rotisserie chicken) and can be easily be made either ahead or after a day at work. Or, almost better yet, what to feed your family the day before a big holiday (hint, hint); this recipe can easily be doubled.
This soup is certainly a recipe that shouts TexMex at you. It is certainly more Tex than Mex – mainly because Mexican cuisine doesn’t use blended chili powders. If any chile powders are used at all, they are of a single chile (i.e. ancho, guajillo).
This soup can also easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken. If you want the added protein, you can add beans, extra-firm tofu, seitan, tempeh, or even simply extra hominy in place of the chicken.
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (you can also use grapeseed or canola oil)
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small (4 oz.) can diced green chiles (hot or mild)
1 small (7 oz.) can salsa verde
1 tbsp. chili powder (I like San Antonio blend)
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. salt, more to taste
1 tsp. black pepper, more to taste
2 cans hominy, drained
1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
4 c. chicken broth
4 c. cooked, shredded chicken
Lime juice, to taste
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Vegetable oil for frying
Chopped Green Onion
Crispy Tortilla Strips
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is soft, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the chiles or salsa verde and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes or until the fragrance comes up.
Add the hominy and tomatoes and saute another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth.
Cover the saucepan and bring the broth to a boil. Uncover, lower the heat to medium, and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
4. While the soup is cooking, make the tortilla strips. Take 6-8 tortillas and cut them into roughly 1/4-inch wide strips.
Be sure to separate them. Heat a medium (9-inch) skillet with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil by dropping a strip in the oil; it should immediately sizzle. Fry the strips in small batches until they are crispy.
Drain the strips on paper towels. (Alternately, you can simply serve the whole tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.)
5. After the initial cooking time, add the chicken, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
6. Serve the soup with the tortilla strips, cabbage, green onion, extra lime wedges, and sour cream.