Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

January 17, 2012

Post image for Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

After returning from a quick jaunt to Mexico to celebrate the New Year, I was determined to recreate the spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup I had at a taqueria in Playa Del Carmen. Bursting with rich spices and fresh, local ingredients, this soup is full of flavor and hearty enough to be a main meal. Although there are dozens of different variations of tortilla soup, my all time favorite is this one, straight from Mexico, and I’m pretty confident my recipe is spot on.

To make things easier, I bought a rotisserie chicken from my local market and used the breast meat from it, instead of cooking the chicken myself. It saves time and honestly is cooked better than any chicken you can make at home. Moving on, I came up with a combination of spices that gave the soup a ton of flavor – cumin, corriander, paprika and ancho chili powder. If you can’t find ancho chili powder, no worries, you can use regular chili powder, but most gourmet markets will carry this special form of chili powder that  is super delicious with has low heat and high sweetness. Ancho chili powder is a gorgeous, dark, black/red color that is more pungent than the regular types of chili powder. Because I love spicy foods, I added 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced) to give my soup medium-hot heat. If you don’t like spicy foods, feel free to use half for medium heat or none at all, but I highly recommend trying it!

After adding  all the ingredients– onions, green bell pepper, corn, chicken broth, tomatoes, cilantro, tortilla strips and of course the shredded chicken– you finish the soup off with a swirl of fresh lime juice to seal in the flavor. Then comes from the fun part – the toppings. Feel free to go as wild as you want. We used sliced avocado, shredded cheese, chipolte crema (recipe below), more fresh cilantro and more crispy tortilla strips.

IMG 33441 Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves 3-4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Spanish onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, insides removed, and diced (to taste)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (Try Dean & Deluca’s if you can!)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 rotisserie chicken, white meat removed and shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 chipotle in adobo peppers
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 corn or flour tortillas, toasted and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 fresh lime, juiced

Garnishes
4 flour or corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips or regular bought tortilla chips
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into strips
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

Chipotle Crema
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 chipotle peppers, plus 2 teaspoons adobe sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  • In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and onion, saute for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, jalapenos, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions become translucent and peppers have softened.
  • Add cumin, coriander, paprika and ancho chili powder and stir until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes, corn, chipotle and 1/4 cup of the cilantro. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

IMG 3285 Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Add the shredded chicken breast and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, toast tortillas in the oven at 375°F (on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray) for about 5 – 7 minutes until lightly golden. Cut tortillas in 1/4″ thick strips and add to the soup. Tortilla strips will soften completely and take on the flavors of the soup.
  • Season with salt, to taste. Add the juice of 1 lime, and stir well.
  • Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Prepare chipotle crema. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients (Greek yogurt, chipotle peppers, adobo juice, salt). Process on high speed until smooth.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and add your garnishes: toasted tortilla strips (or chips), chopped cilantro, a dollop of chipotle crema, a sprinkle of shredded cheese and a few slices of avocado to taste.

IMG 3297 Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup
 
IMG 33441 Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican

 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Spanish onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, insides removed, and diced (to taste)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder (Try Dean & Deluca’s if you can!)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, white meat removed and shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chipotle in adobo peppers
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 corn or flour tortillas, toasted and cut into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
Garnishes
  • 4 flour or corn tortillas, cut into ¼-inch-thick strips or regular bought tortilla chips
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into strips
  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese
Chipotle Crema
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 chipotle peppers, plus 2 teaspoons adobe sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add chopped garlic and onion, saute for 2 minutes. Add bell pepper, jalapenos, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions become translucent and peppers have softened.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, paprika and ancho chili powder and stir until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes, corn, chipotle and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the shredded chicken breast and bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  6. While the soup is cooking, toast tortillas in the oven at 375°F (on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray) for about 5 – 7 minutes until lightly golden. Cut tortillas in ¼″ thick strips and add to the soup. Tortilla strips will soften completely and take on the flavors of the soup.
  7. Season with salt, to taste. Add the juice of 1 lime, and stir well.
  8. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  9. Prepare chipotle crema. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients (Greek yogurt, chipotle peppers, adobo juice, salt). Process on high speed until smooth.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls and add your garnishes: toasted tortilla strips (or chips), chopped cilantro, a dollop of chipotle crema, a sprinkle of shredded cheese and a few slices of avocado to taste.

 

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  • http://joyunexpected.com Y

    Oh, this looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it!

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