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Recipe of the Week: Dorina's New & Improved Tortilla Soup

Posted Jan 01 2010 12:00am
There's something about pureed soups that warms my soul. Tortilla soup is a recipe that comes in many versions and deserves to be passed around. This is a more updated version of my Tortilla soup posted in 2008. The original was created about 8 years ago and our family has changed up our diet pretty significantly since then. I've reduced the salt and substituted for some more healthy ingredients. Feel free to make your own modifications according to your family's needs. We've passed on the recipe to many other families and it seems to be a universal fave. I always make a double batch and freeze some for lunches or to share with friends. This tortilla soup is a thicker pureed version compared to the broth-based version a lot of restaurants serve. If you have problems with dairy, skip the sour cream and you have a hearty, dairy-free meal.


Ingredients:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 organic boneless chicken breasts,
1/2 jalapeno, minced (1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
6 organic corn tortillas (7”)
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups fresh sweet corn (or 2 - 16 oz. cans of organic white corn or 1 bag frozen organic sweet corn)
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped (or 1 - 28 oz. can chopped organic tomatoes)
1/3 cup organic tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
3 cups water
1 quart organic chicken stock

Garnishes:
Sour cream
5 corn tortillas cut in strips (or substitute organic tortilla chips crumbled into pieces)
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large Dutch oven-type pot. Cut chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with minced jalapeno or crushed red pepper. Sauté in pot.

2. Chop onion. Add to pot and sauté until onions are translucent.

3. Meanwhile, add three tablespoons oil to a large frying pan. Cut tortillas into one-inch strips. Add half the tortilla strips to the soup pot with the chicken. (This gives the soup a thicker base when it's pureed.) Brown the other half of the tortilla strips in the frying pan for garnish. (Fry until crispy and dry on paper towels.)
4. Add garlic and jalapenos/red pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) to soup pot. Add two cups corn and tomatoes to pot. Mix.

5. Add spices: cumin, salt, black pepper and chili pepper. Add tomato paste.

6. Finally, add 3 cups water and 1 quart chicken stock. Stir ingredients together well.

7. Bring soup to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (or transferring to regular blender) and puree the soup. (You can skip this step if you prefer a chunky soup.)

8. Allow soup to continue cooking at a low heat for 10 minutes. Continue to puree until large chunks of chicken and tomatoes are blended into the soup.

9. At this point, you can decide about the consistency. If you like a thicker soup, leave as is and allow to cook longer. If you want to thin out the soup add 1/2 cup water until you are satisfied with the consistency.

10. Add two remaining cups of corn to pot, stir and serve.

11. Put garnishes in separate bowls. Allow your guest or family to add garnishes their soup themselves for fun or you can do it and wow them with the presentation.
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