So, it’s November outside, know what I’m thinking? Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! It’s cold outside, know what I’m thinking? Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! My kids are wanting their favorite soup, know what I’m thinking? Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! I have some extra time on my hands, know what I’m thinking? Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! It’s Friday, know what I’m thinking? Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! You starting to get the picture? We love soup or I should say, I love soup, I can eat soup any time of the year, even if it’s 100 degrees outside.
Tortilla soup was not something I was familiar with making as I was not as familiar with all of the Mexican chile peppers or cheeses. I have a great friend, Paulina who has helped me along the way to teach me the basics with the chile peppers and how she prepared this soup, this is not your “throw it in the pot and go” kind of soups, this is a “labor of love” soup. She makes a great chicken tortilla soup and taught me some of the basics, and let me tell you, mine is by no means even close to how good hers is but I am grateful that she shared a few key things with me in making what I say is one of our favorite soups.
First things first I have a huge pot for all my soups and stocks so I can make a lot of it, if you do not have a large pot to hold 2 chickens, you can modify to your needs. I used 2 whole chickens, it’s important to use boned chicken for your soup so do not use boneless breasts as it will change the flavor of the soup. I cut the chicken up (it’s not important to cut the chicken into pieces but i do it because it’s easier on me for later when i have to remove the chicken). I then use a medley of chile peppers, I use serrano, pasilla (or you can find them as pablano) and jalapeno chiles.
Here are the chiles used, the large ones in the back are the pasilla (pablano), the skinny ones on the right are the serrano and the ones on the left are the jalepeno.
I put the chicken in the pot and I use enough water to cover the chicken, I then add the peppers which I have cut in half or thirds, I slice my onions and add them, I take the whole bulb of garlic and slice it in half and add the whole thing (skin included), I cut my carrots into thirds and put them in the pot. Add all my seasonings, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and I cook the soup for about 3 hours before removing the chicken.
I always strain my soups as I don’t like floating pieces of chicken fat or particles, then I return the broth in my pot and add new carrots and another pasilla pepper, both chopped of course. Meanwhile in a frying pan you need to get your pan really hot and pour a can of crushed tomatoes, now you want to burn the tomatoes….yes I said it correct, you burn the tomatoes and then you add this to your broth.
While your sauce is burning and your carrots are cooking, you shred the chicken from earlier. You then add that to your pot along with the burnt tomatoes and serve.
I always put multiple toppings on the table like cilantro, chopped red onions, chopped avocados, sour cream and mexican shredded cheese.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!!
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