Perhaps in a futile attempt to deny the onslaught of Winter, I’m on a South of the Border kick these days. And no, Canadian Amis, I don’t mean American. I mean Mexican. Central American. Warm climate, spicy food, sunshine, zesty music and melodic syllables I don’t understand .
Allow me to invite you into my obsession: try to listen to this song without dancing. It’s Dutch guys singing in Spanish. I don’t know why; why not?
In the midst of my spicy-food-warm-places phase, I discovered Mexican Tortilla Soup: it turned out to be a game-changer.
I’ll be honest, I completely stole this recipe from Blogging Over Thyme.
While the original recipe is delicious, I did modify a few ingredients; I think this just made it more delightful. I added corn and red peppers, black beans, and simplified the chile and tomato situation. I went to 4 grocery stores looking for fire-roasted tomatoes and when I made it with plain tomatoes, it was superb. Sometimes simpler is better.
A word of warning, this soup is pretty spicy. Varun and I both found ourselves sniffy a bit and eating chips to cool things down. All told, I can’t wait to make it again!
- 2 large red chiles
- 1 can tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves, stems removed
- 1 1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ chunks (optional)
- 1 can black beans
- 1/2 cup of corn
- 1 cup chopped red peppers
- juice from half a lime
- fresh lime wedges
- corn tortilla chips
- grated sharp cheddar cheese
- avocados cut into small chunks
- fresh cilantro
- Roast chills in a frying pan until soft. Set aside, slice open when cool and remove seeds. Mix tomatoes and their juice with the chills in a blender. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and stirring frequently, cook until soft and translucent–roughly 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked onion and garlic to the blender with the tomatoes and chiles. Puree all of the ingredients together until very smooth.
- Return the soup pot to high heat. Once pot is very hot, add the pureed tomato chile mixture all at once–it should sizzle immediately. Continue to cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens substantially–for about 5-6 minutes–once it is ready, it should resemble the thickness of a loose tomato paste.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot and combine thoroughly using a spoon or whisk. Reduce the heat and allow the broth to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Over low heat, add the kale, chicken and red peppers. Stir occasionally until chicken is just cooked through (this should only take 2-3 minutes). Add the frozen corn kernels. Finish the soup with lime juice.
- Serve hot with toppings.