Main Courses

Tortilla Soup

Over the winter, my dad and I made a tortilla soup recipe that he had found, and I knew right away that I wanted to change the recipe. The instructions called for poaching the chicken in a separate pot of water, and adding almost 64 oz of liquid. I have two basic requirements for soups and stews. 1) Everything hops in the pot and gets to simmer for a good long time on the stove together. This is the only way for all of the flavors to combine and meld together. 2) I want a soup that feels filling after one bowl. Unless it’s specifically an appetizer course, I want substance. So when my sister requested more soup recipes a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make Tortilla Soup my way. This recipe is for Calli and my dad ūüôā .¬†

In many ways, this Tortilla Soup fits her perfectly. It makes a ton, so she can make it, freeze half, and have dinners for her and her boyfriend for at least 2 or 3 nights. There is a healthy balance of greens, lean proteins, and starchy vegetables, so makes for a well-rounded meal. It suits her mostly though, because it has a little bit of a kick. Calli and Kidd are all about the spicy food. If you think something is intolerably hot, they are likely just getting started. This recipe has some spice, but I don’t consider it overwhelming. If you can’t handle the heat like they can, substitute the 28 oz of roasted tomatoes with chiles for 14 oz with chiles + 14 oz plain roasted tomatoes.¬†

Makes: 6-8 entree servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Cooking Time: 45 minutes    Total TIme: 1 hour

1 package of 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
1 large white onion, quartered and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 large can of roasted tomatoes with chiles (28 oz)
1 box (32 oz) low sodium chicken stock
1 large can (29 oz) hominy, drained and rinsed
1 small can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbs lime juice
1 bunch of collard greens, stems removed

Garnishes: (optional)
1 small bunch of cilantro
1 ripe avocado
tortilla chips

  • Heat a large soup pot on medium-high heat with 1 tbs of vegetable oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Add to the pan with the cumin and paprika (scoot the onions away to the sides so you get direct heat on the chicken) and brown both sides of the chicken. Cook until really brown, that is where a lot of flavor comes from, for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Add the chicken stock and the canned tomatoes to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot to release the flavor off the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the hominy and beans. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • While the soup is cooking, cut the leaves of the collard greens into small bite sized pieces. When the timer goes off after 30 minutes, remove the 4 chicken thighs and add the lime juice and greens. Cover again and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Let the chicken cool long enough so that it doesn’t burn you to touch. Remove the skin and bones and discard. Shred the chicken with two forks into small bite sized pieces. Add back to the pot and cook for the remaining time.
  • Divide into large bowls and serve with a few slices of avocado, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips on the side.

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