Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime and Sundried Tomatoes


Let's say you want to feed a family with one chicken breast. And let's say that you also want to to feed them something nutritious, with lots of whole foods and fresh ingredients. And lets ALSO say that whatever you make, it has to taste AMAZING. Well do I have a recipe for YOU!

When Nate and I got married (has it been 3 years already?) my parents gave us a week at a timeshare in Cancun, Mexico. If you are like me, you like to pack your vacations as full of activities and sightseeing as possible. Mayan pyramids! Freshwater lagoons! Underground rivers! Swimming with Dolphins! Jet skis! Snorkeling! Dancing! Dining!


But not this time. If you have ever been through the insanity of a wedding, you know that once the rings are on and the gown is off, all you want to do is lay on a white sandy beach for a week and chilaaaax. Which is exactly what we did. Every day we got up at noon, wandered down to the palapa for a quick bite, and then spent the rest of the day zoned out on a beach chair, piña coladas in hand. Oh, I suppose occasionally we also, I don't know, read a novel or two as well. It was kind of heavenly.

One of the great things about Mexico is, well, Hot Damn! Do they have great Mexican food! We had some pretty amazing meals while we were there. But honestly, I think one of my favorite meals from that trip was the tortilla soup we had at the palapa every day. It's simple, requires few ingredients, is healthy and low in calories (if you care about those things!), and packs a lot of punch in the flavor department. Limes. Sundried tomatoes. Queso Fresco. It's kind of amazing. Don't trust me? Try it. You'll like it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime and Sundried Tomatoes

In this recipe I had to use "mexican cheese blend" because, well, when you have a newborn baby you can't exactly just run out to the store everytime you forget something. So I had to make do. If you CAN find it near you, I recommend buying "queso fresco" a mild and crumbly fresh Mexican cheese. If you can't find it that's ok: a mild cheddar should do you just fine.

1 quart low sodium chicken stock
1 chicken breast
4 corn tortillas, slightly dried out (just leave them out while you do other stuff)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 jalapeño (optional) seeded and minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large juicy limes
2 splashes olive oil
kosher salt
freshly cracked pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
queso fresco

avocado cubes
chopped cilantro

preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the chicken breast dry, then add a splash of olive oil to chicken. Salt an pepper liberally on both sides, and roast in over for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed cast iron pot (a regular soup pot us ok too). Saute onions, garlic, and jalapeño in the oil until just golden.

Add the stock to the pot.

And add the fire roasted tomatoes.

Add the juice of two limes. Mmm. Limes. Yummy. Bring to a simmer.

Remember that chicken? Bring it out of the oven, and let it cool down for 10 - 15 minutes, until it's cool enough to handle. Then, shred that sucker. Use two forks. It's easy!

When it's done, it should look like this. Add that to the pot with the stock. Ok.

THE END. Goodbye.

Just kidding.

Oh yeah. Toppings. DUH. Remember those tomatoes? We are going to roast them! Cut them all in half, and toss them with a splash of olive oil, some kosher salt, and some pepper. Roast them in the over at 200 degrees. When they are chewy (40 minutes or so?) they are done.

Slice the tortillas into matchstick thin slices.

Until they look like this.

Saute them in a little oilve oil on high heat, until they are crunchy.

Ok. NOW you are done.

Unless you want some other stuff. Like avocados. Or cheese. Oh, and those tomatoes? I was totally going to take a picture of them. But I ate them all before I could. They were really good. No. Really, REALLY good.

To assemble, ladle soup into bowls. Top with tortilla strips (don't add the tortilla strips until JUST before serving. Otherwise they will get soggy. Ad nobody like soggy tortillas. Yuck.) Top with tomatoes, cheese, avocado, whatever.



1 comment:

  1. Looks fantastic! We eat a lot of tortilla soup around here, but it's usually (read: always) my slapped together version that always ends up lacking something. Will definitely give this one a try. Love the idea of the roasted 'maters.