Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Winter in Michigan.  If you don't live here, don't let the media romanticize it.  Yeah, fall is really pretty, and when spring finally gets here, it makes me happy to be alive, but ugh, winter.  And we're only almost to February, which is basically like winter's punch in the face.

I mean look at this - Lake Michigan is just there freezing up some giant ice balls.  Why!?  Don't answer that, I don't really want to know.  I'm trying to stay positive, I made snow ice cream and tried to embrace the season, but it seems like it hasn't stopped snowing in a month.  A couple of guys that work for the city spent an entire day loading snow in to a dump truck and driving it away - and that was just the parking lot at my office!  I wonder how many man hours we have in to snow removal in this town, and where they're putting all the snow for that matter.

I'm trying to make the best of things.  I bought a really cute hat, the hubs got me a pair of those gloves that work on touch screen and if nothing else, it's a good excuse to drink hot chocolate. But I still had to go to work the day we got 19 inches of snow and we're knee deep in ANOTHER polar vortex, which is some kind of fancy weatherman talk for don't breathe too deep when you're outside or your lungs will quit working.  What's a girl to do?  Stay inside.  And make soup.
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Printable Recipe

You'll Need...
For the soup - 
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained but not rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced toatoes
4 cups chicken broth

For serving -
Crushed tortilla chips
Shredded cheese
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Sour cream
Pico de Gallo 

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Season chicken breast as desired (I used salt, pepper, garlic and onion because I wasn't sure exactly what I'd be doing with the chicken when I put it on the oven.  In retrospect, include some chili powder or cumin!  Be adventurous!) Remove from the oven and allow to cool until easy to handle.  Chop in to bite sized pieces or shred with two forks.

Place a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add one tablespoon of olive oil and the onion.  Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste and adobo.  Add spices, tomatoes, black beans, and chicken.  Stir to combine, add chicken stock, and bring soup to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  

While the soup simmers, you'll want to turn your attention to toppings.  Do what you want here, basically anything you like to put on a taco will be delicious now.  I'm partial to guacamole, pico de gallo and shredded cheese myself, but you do what you want.

Soup: apart from hot chocolate, it's probably the best way to beat winter.  So, even though we're only almost to February, even though everything is covered in a sheet of ice, and even though I can't even walk to my mailbox this week without feeling like my face is going to fall off, I've survived 27 other winters and I'll survive this one too.  And soup will help.

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