Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sonya's Chicken Tortilla Soup

I think traditional tortilla soup usually has a tomato base.  But not mine.  There is a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant where I used to live in Riverside.  It is called Mexican Kitchen.  I ordered this once & I was hooked.  I went home & duplicated it perfectly. All the ingredients are optional & you can take out & add whatever you want.  Everything can also be a guess.  There is no exact science to this.  So really there are no measurements.

Chicken Stock or broth about 64 ounces  (I make my own, see recipe)
Shredded chicken (from the chicken I made the stock from)
Yellow Onion, 1 medium onion, diced (set aside a little fresh for garnish)
Celery, about 3 sliced
Carrots, about 3 sliced
Cilantro (to your liking, set aside some fresh for garnish on each bowl)
Green Cabbage  (I wash it then hack it up, I use mostly the green outer parts)
Monterey Jack Cheese (or a blend "Mexican Cheese") (garnish to your liking.  I like a lot)
Corn or Flour tortillas (garnish)
Avocado (diced for garnish and YUMM!)
Oil for frying tortillas (if you want them fried)
Salt to taste (You probably won't need any.  It depends on your broth or stock).

I put the broth/stock in a big pot (like you would boil pasta in).  Add the onion, celery, carrots, & cilantro (leave some cilantro for garnish, it really does taste better to have fresh cilantro in each bowl).  Bring to a boil & then lower to a low simmer.  Put a lid on it.  Cook until the carrots are tender but you don't want soggy (I hate soggy carrots).

Preparing Tortillas:

You may want to prepare your tortillas now.  I just take a few out at a time, then put them on a flat surface & roll a pizza cutter over them, making strips.  You don't have to fry them if you don't want to.  Sometimes I just serve them whole and warm on the side.  With flour tortillas, you can just throw them in the soup when serving & not even heat them up.  For corn tortillas, I like them heated.  I put them directly on my gas stove burner on low eat and turn them.  I'll break off a piece & eat it on the side along with the soup.  Just heat a pan with oil in it (Grapeseed oil would be great.  You want a flavorless oil but any oil will do in a pinch) & fry the strips and then set them aside to drain on paper towels.  Doesn't take long.  Get 'em in, get 'em out.

When carrots are tender, add your chicken (however much you want) and cabbage.  We LOVE cabbage, so I put a TON.  Let it simmer until chicken is heated through & cabbage has softened up but isn't soggy.

Then top with garnishes.  A little finely chopped fresh onion is amazing on this, as well as the cilantro, the cheese melts & the tortillas are to die for!  I absolutely LOVE avocado so I dice up avocado and put this in as well.

AMAZING!  Then I used the rest of the shredded chicken to make enchiladas the next night.

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