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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another soup recipe for the cool nights

Chicken Tortilla Soup This is a recipe comes courtesy of my good Friend Vance. He gave it to me when I was dating a man last February. My date was fighting a nasty nasty cold and Vance assured me that this would do the trick! (I know what you are thinking-- and your right! I am a thoughtful date.)
The fact that a week later, said date dumped me on Valentines Day- well within a day or two which is technically the same thing kinda sucked. But I'm over it. Why would I want to date someone who doesn't love me back?

So anyway- on to the recipe, which by the way it awesome. I cleared it with Vance that I wasn't giving away his trade secret recipe... he assured me that it was not, more like Rachel Ray's.

So at fear of being sued by Rachel's publicist(Sorry Rachel, Love you!).....on with the recipe:

Begin with a carton (32oz) chicken stock, simmer in a large pot.

Place 1lb. chicken tenders or chicken breasts into stock, add 2-3 bay leaves to the pot. Poach for 6-7 min.

While chicken cooks, Heat 1-Tblesp oil. I used olive Oil as I love the flavor and my waistline. But any cooking oil will do. Add 4 slices of bacon to the skillet, and fry just a little less crisp than your liking.

Drain the grease. Chop bacon and place back in the skillet.

Add one half red onion, diced, and 1 Tblsp diced garlic. This time I cheated, I was not feeling well and so I spooned it out of a jar of minced garlic. Fresh chopped is nice too.

Saute' onion mixture for 3-5 min.

Chop 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in the mexican food aisle of any market. Add them, and one Tblesp. of the adobo sauce to the pan.

Pour in one large (28oz) can of diced tomatoes. Plain tomatos work great but there are many flavored tomatos on the market today to choose from.

All I had on hand was a puree and it worked in a pinch, made the consistency of the soup a little more like a condensed tomato soup. But Vance's suggestion of the Basil, Garlic and Oregano tomatos was yummy! And left the soup a little bit more broth-y which I prefer.
(Here you get to see a little more of my
kitchen counter than I would prefer, AND Rachels awesome photog. skills, she was very impressed with her ability to capture action! So- let her have her fun- this is mom daughter bonding PEOPLE!!! Let the tomato mixture simmer on low while we move back to the chicken...

Remove the chicken from the pot, discard the bay leaves- we are so done with them- no offense little leaves. If you so choose, at this point you can strain the chicken-- goop? out of the broth but I like the flavor it infuses so I left mine in and stirred it.

Dice the chicken pieces into bite size morsels. Depending on the size bite you think you can handle- especially when you are fighting a sore throat like me... ouchie!

Place the chicken back into the stock from which it came...
Add the tomato mixture: Once again- yours may be a little less dense (as opposed to the teenager dense)---depending on the tomato product.

And then the fun part- deciding which garnishes you want on yours! I am not a picky person, so other than avacado, which we forgot to buy anyway, I took them all!!!

Vance suggested the following: Cheese (Vance used fancy-schmancy smoked mozzerella), I used regular mozzerella and it was divine! Lime, we made ours pretty slices which we squeezed (thanks, I had no idea!) on our own as we devoured our soup, chopped cilantro, and my favorite! sour cream, I could eat this stuff in every meal.. I swear- that and bacon! I had to highlight the garnishments... as I give way too much advice!- er input.

When your soup is piping hot and your drooling a little from the wonderful aroma filling your kitchen, it is time to serve. Crush some tortilla chips and place in your serving bowl,

Ladel in some soup,

Then garnish
Then enjoy...

This has become my new favorite chicken soup! Thanks Vance.

Here is the recipe in full text:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

32 oz. chicken stock
1 lb chicken breasts or tenders
2-3 bay leaves
1 T. oil (olive or cooking)
4 slices bacon
1 red onion (diced)
4 Garlic cloves chopped (or a Tablespoon of minced garlic)
2-3 Chipotle peppers in adobo (chopped)
& 2 T. of the adobo sauce (from the same can)
1 big can 28oz diced tomato’s (a good choice is the basil, garlic and oregano)

Shredded Cheese – smoked mozzarella is good but any will work
Chopped Cilantro
Sour cream (if you like)

Simmer chicken stock and add chicken and bay leaves.
Poach for 6-7 minutes while you make the tomato sauce.
Heat oil in a skillet add bacon drain grease, use a little of the grease or some olive oil Sauté onions and garlic for 3-5 min. Add chipotles peppers and adobo.
Add can of tomato’s all at once and stir.
Remove the chicken and discard the bay leaves from the pot, cube chicken into bite sized pieces. If you like you can strain the stock, but it adds flavor to leave the bits in.
Pour the tomato sauce, chicken and the bacon into the stock. Stir.

To serve:
Crush tortillas into bowls, pour on the soup and garnish with remaining ingredients to your preference.

Happy Soup making!

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