But, my friend Sarah (Mary’s sister!), who helped me out with a lot of the cooking for our big Thanksgiving feast, wrote and asked if I wanted a recipe. Not knowing it was soup, I accepted. Then I got the email where I saw the word soup and wanted to gag. But, being a good friend, I trucked ahead and began reading. Then it started to sound better and better as I kept reading.
To me (and I know this might sound crazy), this soup is like Mexican pho. Does that even make sense? Whatever. All you need to know is that I made it for myself (I halved it) and it was amazing. It had all my favorite flavors from when I lived in Mexico and was hearty and thick enough to make me forget I was eating a soup.
So I’m going to share this recipe with y’all. If it is a soup and I am sharing it, it has to be good.
(Photos & recipe by Sarah)
Sarah’s Chicken Tortilla Soup (serves 6-8)
3 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 young chicken, separated into parts
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 1/2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 can sweet corn, 14 oz.
1 can petite diced tomato, 14 oz.
1 lime, sectioned
1 bunch fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
Tortilla chips (optional)
Remove the tail and discard the bag of entrails from the chicken. Cut the chicken into pieces, yielding 2 drumsticks, 2 wings, 2 thighs, and 2 breast halves. (Save the carcass for homemade stock!) Remove all excess fat and skin except for the skin on the drumsticks and wings — this adds flavor and keeps the smaller pieces from drying out. Set chicken aside. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil until it glistens. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on medium to medium high heat until the onions are almost translucent, then add the diced garlic. As garlic begins to brown, add chicken broth, water, and chicken pieces. Bring this to a boil and let cook at a slow, rolling boil with the pot’s lid on but cracked open. Let boil 60 minutes or until chicken is almost falling off the bone. Remove chicken pieces onto a plate and debone. Discard bones and set aside shredded chicken meat. To the stock mixture left in the pot, add cumin, chili powder, sweet corn, tomatoes, and more salt and pepper (if needed). Bring back to a boil, turn heat down to medium low, and let simmer for another 45 minutes with the lid cracked. After 45 minutes have passed, add the shredded chicken back, stir well, and cook another 10 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Remove soup from heat. Rough chop the bunch of fresh cilantro and cut the lime into several wedges. Serve each bowl with fresh cilantro and fresh lime. Garnish with tortilla chips if desired.