At the time of filming this video, it was 80 degrees outside–temperature that definitely doesn’t warrant standing before a hot stove to cook soup. But if weather deterred me from making soup on a hot day, I wouldn’t take my coffee extra hot at the coffee shops I frequent. So my solution is to turn up the AC to full blast and get cooking. And just to be in the spirit of the changing “season,” I’ll throw on the coziest knitted sweatshirt because there is nothing like holding a warm bowl in hands gloved loosely with the sleeves of your sweatshirt. If the weather is particularly overcast, I would pull away my blinds, turn on some nostalgia-evoking classic movie and enjoy this bowl of comfort.
Now about this soup, I must admit with a great deal of humility that this chicken tortilla soup is very different from the ones I have tried at restaurants. The roasted pepper adds a wonderful smoky flavor and the tart tomatillos balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes and sweet onion. And of course, the spices are there to bring all these flavors together in holy matrimony… or something like that.
Also, I am happy to report that the heat is finally letting up now. My a/c is turned off, so aside from me clicking way on my laptop and the fridge slumbering away in the kitchen, the night is pretty quiet and cozy. I’ve slipped on that cozy sweatshirt for real this time, too. The only thing that makes sense right now is to pour some of that amazing soup and build a canopy of tortilla strips!
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper roasted on stove and chopped
- 4 tomatillos husk removed and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes in jalapenos any diced tomato works
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2-3 corn tortillas
- cheese optional
- cilantro leaves for garnish
- Sprinkle chicken breast with cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and rub evenly.
- In a saucepan with high sides, add about a tbsp of oil and cook the chicken on high flame until brown on both sides. Remove to a clean plate. *The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked right now.*
- To roast the green bell pepper, simply place it directly on the burner with the flame on. Rotate the bell pepper until the skin is charred and you get black spots around it. Remove from burner. Let cool for a few minutes, then chop.
- In the same saucepan in which you seared the chicken, add in chopped onion, bell pepper and chopped tomatillo. Sautee the vegetables until soft, about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
- Next, add garlic, stir, then add in cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Stir the vegetables really well until they're coated in the spices.
- Next, tip in the can of diced tomatoes in jalapeno along with the chicken stock and black beans.
- Squeeze the juice from one lime and let the soup come to a boil.
- Once the soup is bubbling, immerse the half-cooked chicken breast into the soup and turn the flame to medium-low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the soup to a clean plate and shred it thinly.
- To thicken the soup, ladle half the soup into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour this back into the soup along with the shredded chicken and let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes.
- To make the tortilla strips, cut corn tortilla length wise.
- Next, heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a pan for frying. Add in your tortilla strips and fry them until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove them to a kitchen towel.
- To assemble, ladle the soup into a bowl, add shredded cheese, crushed tortilla strips, and a few cilantro leaves. Serve warm and become a couch potato!
- This easily serves 6-7 people!