First things first, don’t forget that this week I am giving away an AWESOME Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press. Seriously, I waited waaaaay to long to get on board with this little beauty. It is the number one rated garlic press by Cook’s Illustrated and it is easy to see why. The sturdy, smooth design crushes garlic in seconds with almost no effort on your part–you could press an entire head of garlic and not get tired. More importantly, it is easy enough to clean that you’ll find yourself getting it out even when your recipe only calls for one clove! So, don’t forget to sign up by November 19!
Ok, on to the easy chicken tortilla soup. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and assume that none of us like to come home after a long day of work and delve into a three page recipe with hours of prep time and new cooking techniques. When I was younger (an far less wise, obviously) I frequently found myself, 15 minutes passed dinner time, up to my elbows in a recipe only to find out that even thought the recipe listed a 30 minute prep time, those thirty minutes are actually spread out over 6 hours of baking, setting, refrigerating, etc. I’m not really one to shy away from these so called “complicated” recipes (homemade croissants anyone?), but when I get home, I’m usually hungry and ready to get dinner on the table fast. So, I’ve started collecting quick, but delicious recipes that come together without too much effort. Sometimes I pull these pumpkin ravioli out of the freezer, or whip up a batch of shrimp mosca, or throw together a barbecue chicken salad.
Lately, I’ve been turning to this easy chicken tortilla soup. Hearty, healthy, spicy. Definitely meets the requirements of a quick weeknight dinner.
Fair warning-we like our soup spicy! If you’re not looking for much of a kick, only use one chipotle pepper. (It you really, really don’t like spicy, I guess you better leave them out entirely…or use half of one? I’m afraid the tomatoes might be lonely without them.)
Secondly, I like to use the blender to pure about half of the tomatoes and onions (and chipotle peppers). It allows for a thicker, heartier broth without the addition of corn tortillas or cornmeal. However, I’ve also skipped this step and enjoyed the soup almost as much. This soup is pretty healthy, but if you’re still looking to lighten it up, I find that I don’t miss the tortilla chips added to the broth. You could leave them out, or just crumble a few on top.)
As always, I save time by using leftover shredded chicken from earlier in the week–makes this easy chicken tortilla soup even easier!
- 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce + 1 tablespoon adobe sauce
- 16 cups (4 quarts) chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded chicken (cooked)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (optional) + more for garnish
- Queso fresco (optional)
- 1-2 avocados
- 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 lime
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and let sizzle for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add diced tomatoes and stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour about half of the tomato and onion mixture into the blender along with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and blend until smooth. Return mixture to the stock pot. (This step is optional, if you don’t want to use a blender, the soup will still be delicious. Just be sure to chop the chipotle peppers very small.)
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken and reduce to a simmer. If using, add two cups of tortilla chips. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- To serve, divide soup between bowls and top with cubed avocado, quest fresco, chopped cilantro, a few tablespoons crushed tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime.