It’s Saturday of The Masters weekend which equals a lot of laying-low coziness going on around here. Great day for a pot of soup and this one definitely hits the spot. It’s filling and light all at the same time and has an absolutely beautiful, smokey flavor. I, myself, have always had a bit of a love affair with condiments of any kind (don’t worry, my husband was aware before he asked me to marry him) so in my mind all of the toppings are crucial. Great for company too; just put together a colorful “toppings bar” and everyone can have fun building their own. It’s by far the best tortilla soup I’ve ever witnessed and leftovers are even better (I can’t promise you’ll have any as second and third helpings tend to happen with this stuff).
If you would prefer not to use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this feel free to use about 2 cups of your own favorite cooked chicken; The rotisserie can be a huge time saver. And the tortilla strips…holy cannoli do they make this dish over the top! I promise you they are worth the tiny extra step.
1 Rotisserie Chicken, breast meat removed and shredded
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 (15 oz) Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 (4 oz) Can Green Chillies
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 (15 oz) Can Black Beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) Can Pinto Beans, rinsed
5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal
2 Cups Packed Fresh Spinach Leaves
1/4 Cup Peanut Oil (any high temp cooking oil will do)
6 Soft Corn Tortillas
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about five minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Next, add tomato paste, chicken, tomatoes, chillies, beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix cornmeal with 1/4 cup of water and stir the mixture into the soup. Cook, on low heat, for 20 additional minutes. Stir in spinach right before serving and allow it to wilt down for about two minutes.
While soup is simmering on the stove, prepare your tortillas for topping. Lay out tortillas on a cutting board and brush both sides with peanut oil. Slice tortillas into strips, place strips on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Heres what they will look like after you cut them and before you place them on the cookie sheet
Ladle soup into bowls and top with avocado, jalapeño, sour cream, cilantro and tortilla strips and serve.
Adapted from this recipe