Chicken Tortilla Soup Can Be Mild or Spicy As You Like It

Like a little spice in your bowl? Try Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Our Pitmaster Club members post recipes in The Pitmaster Club forum, and occasionally we ask for permission to share the best recipes with the public. Here is an outstanding recipe from RonB that was inspired by a few recipes he saw online. Recipe adapted for publication by Steve Nelson.

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chicken tortilla soup

If you’re a fan of southwestern cooking, dig into a bowl of hot tortilla soup. This versatile recipe can be made with either chicken or pulled pork (see the Options below for the pulled pork version). Either way, you’ll love the rich, smoky, medium-spicy broth.

Course. Lunch. Dinner. Soup.

Cuisine. American. Southwestern.

Makes. 4 to 6 servings

Takes. 30 minutes prep and 60-90 minutes cooking

Ingredients

Soup

12-14 ounces chicken breasts (2-3 medium)

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 jalapeno pepper

3-4 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for chicken

3-4 cloves garlic

Half of a (15-ounce) can black beans

Half of a (14-ounce) package frozen sweet corn

1 (10-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies

1 (10-ounce) can fire roasted tomato sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Garnishes

2 corn (or flour) tortillas

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 ounces ozs of grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon sour cream

2 slices fresh avocado

Method

1) Cook. Cook the chicken breasts by simmering in the chicken broth in a medium pot until tender enough to shred, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reserve the chicken broth.

2) Make soup. Chop the onions, bell pepper, and jalapeno (remove the seeds for less heat), and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic in oil over medium heat in a large enameled cast iron or other stock pot until softened, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pot along with the corn and both cans of tomatoes with their juices. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Let simmer.

3) Meanwhile, take two forks and shred the chicken until it’s completely pulled apart. Add to the pot along with the reserved chicken broth. If the soup needs more liquid, add hot water to the soup until the desired consistency is reached. Season with cumin, chili powder and cayenne. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

4) Make garnish. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Paint the tortillas with olive oil on both sides and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Arrange the strips on a cookie sheet and bake until crisp,10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

5) Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with small amounts of cheese, cilantro, sour cream and sliced avocado. Other options include chopped red onion, scallions, salsa or pico de gallo.

Serve hot with the slices or crushed pieces of crispy tortilla strips on top. Another option would be to serve with plain warmed whole tortillas, either corn or flour.

Grilled Chicken Option

Fire up a grill to medium heat. Brush the chicken breasts with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Set aside wrapped in foil to keep warm.

Pulled Pork Option

You can replace the chicken with 12 to 14 ounces pulled pork. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat with a little chicken stock if necessary to rehydrate it. Then add it to the soup as directed in place of the chicken.

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