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chicken tortilla soup

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It’s cold right now here in Seattle so I thought a warm and tasty soup was in order. This soup is beyond simple and is perfect for those evenings when you are short on time and need to throw something together. I’m sure you have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.

I blended my own seasonings for this soup, don’t worry about making your own blend, an even quicker method to making this soup is using taco seasoning from a packet. How I come up with my blends is to read the ingredients in the packets and buy the seasonings themselves and create my own mix. However you choose to season this soup it will still be delicious. I went to my pantry for most of these ingredients and used the convenience of roasted chicken pieces from my local store; you guessed it, Ballard Market.

The secret ingredient in this soup is refried beans. Years ago, I was making this and mentioned to a friend that I wish it was a little thicker, she told me to try adding refried beans; I did and it was the perfect thickness for me. Thank you Beth!!

This soup is also a good way to use any leftover frozen turkey you may have from your Christmas dinner. This soup can also be made without chicken and vegetable stock for a vegetarian option. Garnish it with cheese, sour cream or green onions, but tortilla chips are a must.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
olive oil
seasonings, I used onion powder, cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder (use taco/fajita seasoning if you like)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup water
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can of diced green chilis
1 can of black beans
1 chicken breast and 1 thigh, cut up or torn into pieces
1 /2 – 1 can of refried beans

Swirl the olive oil a couple times around a deep pot and saute the onions and garlic over medium heat. You don’t want to brown them, just cook them down. I added a teaspoon of all the seasonings and salt, and 2 teaspoons of the cumin at this point. I continued to add more throughout the process until I had a flavor I liked.  Add the stock and the remaining ingredients except the refried beans. Bring to a simmer and let everything marry together for about 20-30 minutes. Continue to taste your seasonings and add to your liking. (I added a couple more teaspoons of everything.) At the end add 1/2 can of the refried beans, stir to fully incorporate. If you want it thicker, add more.

Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and whatever else you like.

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