Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup

Loving soups and loving Mexican food it is pretty much a no-brainer that this is something that I would want to cook and eat. I ate a lot of tortilla soups when I visited the Yucatan peninsula a few years ago with my friend Naomi (soup and lots of super tasty thin Mexican steaks) and I have fond memories of those bowls of nutritious yumminess.

I think one of the things that I love is the mix of textures: crispy tortilla strips, creamy avocado, silky tomato and the tang of the cheese. They all come together as one delicious whole.

I’ve used feta cheese here and although clearly not Mexican it does have similar qualities to a queso fresco and makes a fair substitute. The crunchy tortilla strips can be made under the grill or in a hot oven - brush a couple of flour tortillas with oil, slice into strips, and place on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet. Grill or bake until crisp, turning as they start to go golden.

You’ll notice that in the ingredients pic the chicken is shredded as I did that step of the recipe ahead of taking the photo. Another disclaimer is that unfortunately we ended up not having avocado with ours as when I cut it open it was all manky inside: instead I chopped up some spring onion,

Chicken Tortilla Soup
serves 2

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
½ dried ancho chili, rehydrated, seeded and finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
1-2 tsp chopped chipotle chili in adobo (to taste)
½ tin (or 1 small tin) chopped tomatoes
200ml passata
500ml chicken stock
85g tinned sweetcorn
2 whole corn tortillas, sliced into 2-3in long strips, baked
40g feta cheese, crumbled
½ avocado, diced
coriander leaves, chopped, for serving
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 190C.

Mix cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle the olive oil onto the chicken breast and then sprinkle a small amount of the spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place the the chicken breast on a foil lined baking sheet (purely to save on washing up) and put in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is just done. When cooled, use two forks to shred chicken and set aside.

Heat a further 2 tsp of oil in a saucepan over a medium-high and when hot add the onion, garlic and ancho chili and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.

Add the rest of the spice mix, oregano, chipotle chili and mix until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Add the tomatoes, passata, shredded chicken, corn and broth and cook at a low simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Carefully check the seasoning: particularly for salt as you don’t want it under seasoned. Add some more Chipotle chili if it needs more spice.

Ladle into two bowls and top with the tortilla strips, crumbled cheese, diced avocado, coriander and serve with lime wedges.

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