How’s your first week back going? Planning your first 2012 food party yet? You know you need a break from the monotonous already!
I haven’t done a lick of cooking this week since Christmas. It’s been difficult enough getting back into the swing of things let alone using my brain power to come up with a meal and grocery plan. And you know what? That’s OK. I firmly stick to the idea that starting any changes in the new year should wait until you’re a couple weeks in anyway.
Besides, you can just throw this soup together and call it a night, no brain power involved (only brain fuel, of course).
If you haven’t guessed yet, this is a classic chicken tortilla soup . The recipe is one of Eat Live Run’s arsenal of easy to pull together yet elegant dinner ideas. Add homemade tortilla strips (one of the easiest and most worth it ventures you can take in the kitchen) and you get a hearty soup with the perfect crunch to satisfy any winter craving.
Note: The ingredients include hominy, which is actually an ingredient I enjoy. They’re basically little balls of cornmeal and add a small, dumpling-like substance. Find hominy with canned corn or in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores.
Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted from Eat Live Run ) (serves 6)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds included if you want heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
8 cups chicken broth (2 quarts)
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1 can hominy
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 (or more) flour or corn tortillas
Shredded cheese and cilantro for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the chicken, simmering until cooked through (15-20 minutes). Set aside and when cool, chop or shred.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot (wash the one you used for the chicken!). Sauté onion and jalapeno for about five minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder and cumin and combine well.
Pour in the broth and add the diced tomatoes, hominy, black beans, green chilies, cooked chicken and salt. Bring to a boil.
While you wait for the soup to boil, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tortillas with olive oil and, using a pizza cutter or knife (pizza cutter is easier!), slice the tortillas into strips. Spread the tortilla strips on a sprayed or lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 10 minutes or until they start to brown, tossing once while baking if needed. Once they brown, they darken fast so keep an eye on it!
Serve the soup with the fresh strips, chopped cilantro and shredded cheese on the side.
This soup is a classic. It’s better than most restaurant versions, only gets better the longer it sits, and reheats splendidly. Make a big batch for the week and you’re set.
Don’t forget to dip your homemade tortilla strips!
Question: In your opinion, what food is worth making at home and what is worth buying at the store?
(Tortilla strips and croutons are so easy, they’re totally worth making at home. Beans? I’ll take canned unless I’m feeling adventurous.)