Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Squash and Corn

Fall has definitely arrived in the High Country, but late summer produce has still been available (although this morning's snow flurries may mean the end of that).  I've been wanting to make tortilla soup but knew I best take advantage of the last of summer's bounty while I could so I made Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Squash and Corn.  This soup has pureed tomato simmered in chicken broth with a healthy dose of chipotle chile powder for a kick. The corn and squash, cooked until just tender, add a freshness to the soup.   A squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of cilantro, a slice of avocado and a pile of crispy tortilla strips are the perfect finishing touches.

My soup is inspired by Betty Rosbottom's Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Lime and Smoked Chilies from her Sunday Soups.

Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Squash and Corn

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans chopped fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped chicken (1-inch pieces)
  • 2/3 cup fresh corn
  • 2/3 cup diced summer squash (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 6-inch corn tortillas, sliced into 1/3 inch wide pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook the onion for about 5 minutes until it softens and begins to turn brown.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the cumin, coriander and chili powder.  Stir the spices into the vegetables and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth to the pot.  Bring the soup to a gentle boil, turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.
  4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or by transferring batches to a blender.
  5. Return the pot of soup to the stove over medium low heat.
  6. Season with the salt and pepper.  Add the chicken, corn and squash and simmer for about 5 minutes until the squash is just tender.
  7. Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  8. Add about a third of the tortilla strips to the skillet (do not overcrowd) and fry for about 3-4 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Repeat until all the tortilla strips are fried.
  9. Stir the lime juice into the soup, taste and adjust seasonings.
  10. Serve the soup topped with the cilantro, tortilla strips and sliced avocado.
Yield: 4-5 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes

I like my soup spicy so I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder at the end.  It was perfect for me, but a little too much for the kids.  If you are not accustomed to cooking with chipotle chili powder, add it sparingly!  Last fall, I made a couple of pots of chili using it that were too hot for anyone but me to eat. I served the soup with black bean quesadillas for a delicious family dinner.  And the last bowl of soup, complete with all the garnishes, made a killer brown bag lunch the next day.

This post will be linked to Chef in Training's Tuesday Talent Show, Miz Helen's Full Plate ThursdayFeature Yourself Friday and  Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

If you like this, you should check out:
 Sorrento Pork Chili


Chef in Training said...

yum! This looks great! I would love for you to come link this and/or any other projects you have been up to at the Tuesday Talent Show! Hope to see you there!

Lynn said...

Thanks for the invite -- I'll be sure to check it out.