By admin | October 25, 2011

BY EMMA HABERMAN

Soup season is here, filling our kitchens with wafts of simmering vegetables, stocks and stews. My favorite soups to make are usually vegetables pureed with stock and a little cream – thick, substantial wonders full of the essence of pumpkin, broccoli or cauliflower. This weekend I branched out and tried my hand at a broth-y soup in the form of a modified tortilla soup. It has a few more steps than a puree, but is still easy to make and packed with a variety of comforting and exciting flavors.

Tortilla soup is everything I love about Mexican cuisine liquefied into a delicious broth. Tomatoes, onions, chicken, Chipotles, and lime lend all the flavors of enchiladas, one of my favorite things, to a light but hearty soup. The Chipotles add quite a bit of heat; for a less spicy soup try substituting the Chipotles with seeded Serrano peppers. You can also balance the soup’s spiciness with the toppings you choose; homemade tortilla chips, avocado, grated jack cheese, sour cream and pickled onions all will help balance the peppers’ intensity for a more soothing soup.

Tortilla Lime Soup Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups of chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon of allspice
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 pound of skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon of canola oil plus more for shallow frying
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Chipotle peppers, diced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 limes, juiced
Salt
Pepper
2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
1/2 avocado, sliced
Pickled onions (optional)

Method:

  1.  In a pot, bring the chicken broth, allspice and sliced garlic to a boil. Add the chicken thighs and simmer for about 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Set aside chicken and let cool until you are able to shred into bite-sized pieces. Strain broth and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a shallow saucepan. You’ll know that the oil is hot enough if it sizzles when you sprinkle a few drops of water. Fry the tortilla strips until golden brown on both sides. Cool on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the pan and add the onions, tomato, garlic and Chipotle peppers until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomato paste and lime juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the shredded chicken. Simmer until chicken is heated through. Ladle into bowls and top with tortilla strips, avocado slices and pickled onions if desired. Serves 3-4.

Photos: Emma Haberman

To read more tips and recipes from Emma, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

Directions

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