Celebrate with a South of the Border soup
Posted on Dec. 13, 2019
It’s always our tradition on Christmas Eve to have a buffet of appetizers, soups, sandwiches, and salads. People can eat whenever they want, as often as they like, and as much as they like, too!
I have two favorite soups that I typically serve. The first is my mom’s clam chowder. The other is this version of tortilla soup, complete with all the fixin’s: extra tortilla strips, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, chopped white onions, Jack cheese, and lime wedges. This soup usually shows up on the menu at Cafe 222 after the New Year, but at home, we start enjoying its comforting virtues before year’s end.
If one were to be a stickler, this soup is a cross between tortilla soup and pozole (due to the addition of hominy and chipotles), so purists might be a bit put out, but give it a try anyway. The one step not to skip is simmering the tortilla strips with the broth and vegetables; once you blend that all together, you’ll love the delicious nutty flavor of the tortillas that comes shining through. Terryl Gavre, owner of Cafe 222 and co-owner of Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant; breadandbutterismyjam.com
Holiday Tortilla Soup
8 Tbsp cooking oil
10 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into ¼-inch strips
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 smoked chipotle pepper (from a can)
2 quarts chicken broth
1-16 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 cup hominy, rinsed and drained
1 cup black beans (cooked or canned), rinsed and drained
1. Add the cooking oil to a heavy-bottomed 6-quart pot and heat to medium-high. Add tortilla strips and cook until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
2. Add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and smoked chipotle pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, until slightly caramelized.
3. Add 2 quarts of chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and half of the tortilla strips. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
5. Carefully ladle soup into a large high-speed blender and purée in small batches.
6. Return soup to pot and add chicken breast tenders, hominy, and black beans. Simmer until chicken is cooked, about 5-7 minutes.
7. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and onions, remaining tortilla strips, and avocado. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.