Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder(I use New Mexican)
1 tablespoon dried oregano (I use Mexican oregano)
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1/2 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
15 ounces crushed tomatoes
8 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water (divided)
2 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 7-ounce can diced green chiles
2 tablespoons lime juice
2/3 cup frozen yellow corn
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Topping ideas: scallions, chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, salsa/hot sauce, avocado, shredded cheese
Heat a medium stock pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pot. Sprinkle in the salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika, stir well, then cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and onions and bell pepper are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and 4 cups of stock or water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a hard simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Blend the masa or cornmeal with a 1/2 cup of the remaining stock or water, then add that, along with the remaining 3 1/2 cups of stock or water to the pot. Stir in the pinto beans, diced green chiles and lime juice and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low and add the corn and cilantro to the soup, stirring until cooked through, just another 1 or 2 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and serve with desired toppings.
As a lot of you know, chicken tortilla soup was the first recipe I ever made and I never veered from the one I pulled from allrecipes in 2005. And hoo boy, that got boring. This last year I found it harder and harder to bring myself to make it. We just didn’t look forward to it anymore. It lacked oomph, character. Something.
I have completely remedied that with this version. The masa thickens it up, the smoked paprika and lime juice give it more dimension and the bell pepper and pinto beans are perfect additions.
As healthy and simple as anything I put together these days, but also crave-able, delicious and hearty. This is much more the soup we were both looking for all this time. Fantastic.