I am the Princess of soup. Princess, because my mom is the current reigning Queen.
Fall means soup season has arrived–when I hold a giant bowl of hearty, healthy goodness close to my heart and let it warm me up from the inside out. I love soup.
This was my first time making chicken tortilla soup, and I just tossed everything that I had into a pot and followed one tip from the Pioneer Woman involving cornmeal that I had never heard before that made me love her even more than I already do. I will share it with you so you can love me, too.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 banana pepper, seeds discarded and diced
- 2 C cooked black beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 C corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
- 1 T cilantro (I used one cube from my frozen cilantro)
- 1 t chili powder
- 1/2 t cumin
- 3 C chicken broth
- 1 C water
- 3 T cornmeal mixed in a bit of warm water
- salt and pepper to taste
- toppings: crispy tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, sour cream–go crazy!
I had to prepare part of this the day before by soaking the black beans overnight (I use dried beans), and then the day of by cooking the beans, baking the chicken (plain in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes), and cutting and crisping the corn tortilla strips in the oven. All of those things can be shortcuts, using canned beans, left-over or deli chicken, and tortilla chips. Without those steps, this soup comes together soup-er fast.
Begin by sauteing the garlic, onion, and banana pepper over medium heat in the olive oil. Once it starts to smell delicious, take off the heat and add the beans, corn, tomatoes, chicken, and spices. Pour the chicken broth and water over the top and stir to combine. Stir the cornmeal in a small amount of warm water, then pour into the soup.
The cornmeal is the Pioneer Woman’s genius. It makes the soup just a bit thicker and gives it a nice corn flav.
Allow the soup to meld together, simmering over medium heat for 20 minutes or so before serving. It’ll thicken up a bit and taste so gosh darn good.
And what is a chicken tortilla soup without tortillas? I used corn tortillas and baked them in the oven (right on the rack) for a few minutes on each side until they were browned and crispy. You can crunch these right over the top and mix them in. I also cut some tortillas into strips and crisped those on a baking sheet for a prettier, more uniform look. Do what floats your boat.
We topped the soup with the tortillas and a handful of cool avocado slices for a nice creamy texture.
This soup was bangin’. So seriously good. Even with the cilantro (Fritz’s worst enemy), he loved it. Hearty, with big pieces of chicken and beans for lots of chew.
And of course, like any good soup, it was ten times better the next day.
What is it about those 24 hours that make soup leftovers so fantastic? I wish all leftovers were like that.
Fritz and I also started planning our Halloween costumes today–what are you being for Halloween?