10 April 2012
In December I overheard someone say they didn’t eat much soup, because they didn’t have much soup weather. I let it pass, but I’ve been thinking about it and wonder: how exactly does this make sense? I know these people eat hot casseroles, roast turkey and other meats, and so on. Those dishes are hot when you eat them, cook for awhile, and thus require heating up the kitchen — so how is that different from soup? Of course, I eat ice cream year round (although primarily indoors during winter), so perhaps I’m not the best person to judge.
Anyway, the soup in question was turkey tortilla soup, made with the turkey carcass leftover after Christmas dinner. I riff on this basic soup any time we have a poultry carcass at our house. What I’d really like to reproduce is the cheesy chicken tortilla soup served at Le Dog, but I’m not sure how to get the cheesiness in the broth, so we put grated cheddar in the bowl when served.
First step is making stock from your poultry carcass. Hopefully you also have some leftover chicken (or turkey) meat to add to the soup. I rarely make it the same way twice, but here is the general recipe.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tab powdered chiles (or chili powder)
2 tsp ground cumin
(6 cups) chicken stock
shredded/chopped leftover cooked chicken
1 or 2 cans of tomatoes with green chiles + 1 Tab tomato paste
some chopped jalapeños
2 Tab juice from the jalapeño jar
~1 cup corn
other ingredients that you like
toppings: fried corn tortilla strips (or tortilla chips), grated cheese, chopped cilantro (if cilantro doesn’t taste like soap to you), etc.
1. In a large non-reactive saucepan, heat 2 Tab oil in saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, powdered chiles, and cumin. Stir and cook for about 1 minute (you want the chile powder to get aromatic).
2. Add chicken stock, tomato products, and all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (maybe add salt & pepper, or a little lime juice. I usually add green chile salt).
3. While the soup is cooking, you can cook tortilla strips in about 1/2 inch hot vegetable oil if you want them (this is a big treat at our house). (You don’t need directions for this, do you?) Drain them on paper towels after frying.
When we have this, we put grated cheese in the bottom of the bowl, then ladle the soup in, and top with tortilla strips. Yum! And much to my delight, everyone in our house gladly eats it (no matter what the weather).