The Bug, who is nine and not always the easiest to please, announced "We should have this every night!"
This is a good use of leftover chicken when whole chickens are on sale. I bought two, and was able to have two dinners of roasted chicken, a couple of lunches of chicken sandwiches, and then this yummy, stewy soup. And I REFUSE to go the Rachael Ray way by calling it "stoup"!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Make a broth with the meaty bones of two roast chickens. (I like to reserve the meat from one and add it at the very end before the soup is served.)
- How to make a broth: take the chicken bones/meat, at least one onion, one or two large carrots, celery hearts with leaves, a handful of smashed garlic cloves, and a handful of peppercorns. If you want to saute the veggies to bring out the flavor, do! Then, cover with fresh, cold water. Simmer for a number of hours until reduced to about 50%.
- Strain the solids from the broth, reserving any good meat and carrots. But for lord's sake, throw out the skin! Allow broth to cool, then skim any fat.
- Saute in butter or olive oil one chopped onion, two carrots, two-to-three ribs of celery, until fragrant.
- Add back the broth and meat, bring to a slow boil.
- Add one 16oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes, with liquids.
- Add one can black beans, with liquids.
- Add one cup frozen corn.
- Add chili powder and cumin, to taste.
- Add about 1/2 cup of small pasta, such as orzo. I like a star shape. The smaller, the better, because pasta absorbs a lot of liquid as the soup sits. Don't add too much or you'll have pasta stew.
- Taste for seasoning (salt, pepper, spiciness)
- Crush tortilla chips into the bottom of each bowl, add soup. Then top with chopped green onion, cilantro and about a tablespoon of shredded mexican blend or colby jack cheese. Cheese is, of course, optional.