January 26, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Like all good Texans, my mom and I share an affinity for Tex-Mex.  In particular we love chicken tortilla soup.  So when we searched for activities to do over Christmas break, when a Tex-Mex cooking class at Central Market popped up, we jumped at the opportunity. The menu for the class consisted of fresh salsa, steak quesadillas, tortilla soup and sopapillas.  While we have both made most of those before, it was a great chance to learn new recipes, have something fun to do the day after Christmas, and stuff ourselves silly.

Those are the spices taking a moment to toast with the onions and garlic before adding more liquid ingredients.

One night early last week, I needed a meal that I could stretch into several to bring for lunches. So I made this soup and ate it every day for a few days, with tortillas that I quickly toasted over an open flame. Delish.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 8-10
Adapted from Central Market Cooking School
Note: hominy is dried corn soaked in lye water to remove the hull.  Which results in large, white chewy kernels of corn with good, corny flavor. It is commonly found in the Hispanic isle of the grocery store.

1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 28 oz can tomatoes, with juices
2 cups chicken stock
1 4 oz can green chiles
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can hominy, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked chicken
Tortilla chips

Optional garnishes:
lime juice
green onions
cheddar cheese

1. In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium low heat.
2. Small dice onion and add to pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5-7 min.
3. Finely chop garlic, add to onions. Add spices, salt and pepper, saute for 30 seconds to 1 minute to release flavor.
4. Add tomatoes with their juices and stock. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
5. Stir in chiles, beans, hominy and chicken. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
6. Ladle soup into bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips and any garnishes that sound good.