Yesterday was one of those days. I didn’t have much of a craving for anything I usually cook, but I also didn’t have a ton of time to make dinner. I took a spin through recipes I hadn’t made in awhile, hoping I would be inspired by something in there – especially knowing that one of my errands involved stop at multiple grocery stores (because yes, I do shop at different stores for different things, yay me). Eventually, my perusals paid off. I finally had inspiration.
The final verdict of my homemade tortilla soup? My husband had two giant bowls and proclaimed it a keeper. Little Miss, who had eaten dinner at a friend’s house, ate half my bowl and asked if she could have it for lunch today. And Mister Man announced that it was too spicy – but he really liked the idea behind it. (So yes, next time I’ll adjust it in hopes of making it less spicy so that he can eat it but still flavorful enough that the rest of us will enjoy it.)
Homemade Tortilla Soup
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (the San Marzano tomatoes are my favorites)
1 4 oz can sliced green chile peppers
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce (I use the medium green sauce, but feel free to go hot or mild, depending on your preferences)
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 bay leaf
32 oz chicken stock
10 oz frozen corn
1 lb chicken, shredded*
1 T cilantro, chopped
8 corn tortilla
*Choice A: poach your chicken the way you normally would, then shred it and add it to the soup. Choice B: Have plenty of time to cook your soup and add the raw chicken to the soup, letting it poach as the soup cooks, then pulling it out at the end and shredding it.
Add all ingredients up to the chicken to a crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours (don’t do the raw chicken if you’re cooking it on high).
When the soup is near done, use a spoon or spatula to squish the tomatoes against the sides of the crock pot so that they fall apart. This is easier to do at the end of cooking than right away when you’re starting the soup.
Also near the end, prepare your tortilla strips. Brush the tortillas lightly with oil, then cut them into strips. Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly crispy.
Just before you’re ready to serve, add the juice from your limes to the soup and stir briefly. Serve the soup with chopped cilantro as garnish, along with the awesome tortilla strips you just made. You can also add avocado or cheese or sour cream or whatever else strikes your fancy. According to my husband, this is as good as any tortilla soup you’d find in a restaurant anywhere.
On a side note, I had less time to make this than I thought I would due to an unexpected appointment. With the exception of the chicken, I had this entire thing in the crock pot in under 15 minutes. When I got home, I poached the chicken and shredded it, adding it to the soup a half hour before I served it. That worked well, and the chicken still absorbed good flavor from the soup. I love recipes that give me flexibility like this!