Chicken Tortilla Soup

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With the weather changing, I have been on a bit of a soup kick.  To me, there’s nothing better than a bowl of soup on a cool, fall Sunday.  This recipe is a little more work than the previous butternut squash one I posted, but well worth the extra effort.  The ground cayenne does add a nice bit of heat; reduce based on your tolerance for spicy food.

Note: Ground guajillo (pronounced, “wha – hee- oh”) chile peppers can be found in the spice aisle at Hispanic grocery stores, spice markets, Whole Foods and even some grocery stores.  I found mine at my local grocery store, in the ethnic food section.  The guajillo chile powder adds a sweet heat with a slight fruity, tart and berry undertones.  It also gives the soup a brilliant red color.  The flavor and color is hard to replicate, which is why I recommend not substituing it. If you must, regular chili powder will work, but you will notice a difference.

1 tbsp ground guajillo chile pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tomatoes, cut in half
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.  Place chicken and tomatoes skin-side down on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.  Drizzle oil over tomatoes and chicken, making sure to coat all sides.  Rub tomatoes and chicken with spice mixture.
Roast in oven for 30 – 35 minutes until chicken is just cooked through.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Remove skins from tomatoes and chop.  Shred chicken with a fork.  Set both aside seperately.  Reserve any juices that have accumulated on the sheet pan.
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Reserved tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced
Reserved tomato and chicken juice
1 tbsp ground guajillo chile pepper
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
3 ounces tomato paste (half of a 6 ounce can)
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
Reserved shredded, cooked chicken
2 cups water
Diced avocado
Sour cream
Corn or flour tortillas, fried until crisp and broken into strips
In a large pot over medium heat, add butter and oil.  When butter has melted, add reserved tomatoes, onion and garlic.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 – 12 minutes, until onions and garlic have softened but not browned.  Add reserved juices from the chicken and tomatoes, along with ground guajillo, cayenne and cumin.  Mix well and let cook two minutes.  Add tomato paste, cook 2 – 3 minutes until paste is evenly distributed.  Add corn, beans, stock, chicken and water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 one hour, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
To serve, place a small handful of tortilla strips at the bottom of a soup bowl.  Ladle in soup and top with sour cream, cilantro, avocado and more tortilla strips.

1 comment

  1. […] of sweet heat and sour cream.  This recipe calls for guajillo chile powder – see note about Guajillo Chile Powder here.  Since this is a Quick Hit recipe, I also suggest using your favorite jarred salsa. […]

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