Chicken tortilla soup seems to be a ubiquitous item on restaurant menus in the American Southwest. I have high standards when it comes to chicken tortilla soup, and many restaurants do not make a good version of it. There are two lovely restaurants in Tucson which serve delightful food, except their chicken tortilla soups are terrible. One resembles a bowl of nacho cheese and the other is mainly turmeric and onion. How they got it so wrong, I do not understand. Perhaps they have never tried an authentic tortilla soup.
This past weekend was a holiday and since it was still chilly and I had the time, I made chicken soup. I can’t call it chicken tortilla soup because it didn’t contain tortilla and it had black beans, but that was my inspiration. This was the recipe I followed, although I adjusted a few things which are mentioned below.
– 1/2 tablespoon oil (I used olive, vegetable oil is what the recipe says)
– 1/2 small onion (recipe says 1 whole onion, I don’t really like onion that much and 1/2 of one still seemed like a lot to me, adjust for your tastes)
– 1 minced garlic clove
– 1 minced jalapeño, seeds removed (recipe calls for 2, I didn’t notice much heat from 1, so adjust to your tastes)
– 6 cups of chicken broth (I made mine from Knorr cubes, just make sure to monitor the salt you add)
– 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (approx 14.5 oz)
– 1 can black beans (my can was more than 14.5 oz, but I like black beans so it was ok)
– 2 chicken breasts (recipe calls for 3, but I got monster chicken breasts so 2 were more than enough)
– 2 limes for juice and additional ones for serving
– 1 cup chopped cilantro
– 1 avocado (mine were a little past ripe, so ate about 3/4 of an avocado per bowl of soup)
– 1 cup Oaxaca cheese (I don’t remember if you can get this in the states, if you can’t use Monterrey cheese or any mild white melting cheese)
Step 1 – cook onions with oil in the pan. After about 2 minutes, add the garlic and jalapeños. When they’re soft, add them to the chicken broth.
Step 2 – add the beans and tomatoes to the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Step 3 – add the chicken and cook for approximately 25 minutes. It will turn white on the outside very quickly, so don’t assume it’s cooked all the way through.
Step 4 – When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it. I used forks since it was still pretty hot, but you can wait until it’s cool and use your hands.
Step 5 – add the cilantro and lime to the broth, and then add the chicken back in.
Step 6 – prep the bowl, put the avocado and cheese in the bottom of your bowl.
Step 7 – ladle the soup over the cheese and avocado, wait for the soup to melt the cheese:
Since I didn’t have the necessary tortilla to make this tortilla soup, I made some cornbread to accompany it. This is the recipe I used, it came out a little sweet for my taste, so next time I’ll probably only use the honey.
– 1/2 cup softened butter
– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 tsp salt
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 400 F or 204 C, then mix butter, honey, sugar, and eggs together in a bowl.
Step 3 – add the milk and mix until completely combined.
Step 4 – spread the mixture into your baking pan. I baked my bread for 15 mins since the dough was spread fairly thin in the pan, if you’re using muffin pans like the original recipe suggests, it could take 20-25 minutes to bake, and if you’re using a square pyrex it could take around 30 mins, just watch the time.