This morning I woke up and the windshield of my car was covered in a thin layer of ice. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to those of you in Alberta, or Ontario, or Minnesota, but to a born-and-bred coastal girl, this was big news.
This week Vancouver’s usual late-fall forecast of rain, rain and more rain was broken up by stretch of sunshine. Of course, without that almost-constant cloud cover, temperatures have dropped. We’re still above freezing most of the time, but it’s still very cold for us wusses out here.
In short, it’s soup season. Do I love a slow cooked soup, where the flavours simmer and meld? Of course. (My legendary borscht takes 3 days, but the payoff is incredible.)
This is not that soup. This is the warm hug you need when you didn’t plan in advance. This is your weeknight salvation meal- something to warm your belly when you’ve had a long day and you forgot to go grocery shopping.
Most of the ingredients in this soup are pantry or freezer staples, and the extras- the avocado and cilantro- are delightful garnishes, but don’t feel bad skipping them if you too find yourself with a frozen windshield and no inclination to put your pants back on.
Quick, easy and deeply satisfying, this soup is also pretty darn healthy, which is great. I crave good comfort food that sticks to your ribs, but I’m also starting to notice it on my waistline. (It’s my hibernation layer- for insulation!) I love that I can eat this soup, feel warm and full and happy, but can still fit into my pants the next day!
|Weeknight Chicken Tortilla Soup|| |
- Olive oil and/or vegetable oil
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbsp Mexican chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 1 large tin diced tomatoes
- 1 large tin black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn niblets
- 1 bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Plain yogurt
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- 3-4 small corn tortillas, sliced into strips and fried (can be substituted for pre-made tortilla chips)
- Heat a glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the diced chicken breast and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and chipotle(s) and stir well, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the black beans, corn niblets and bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the chicken stock, bring the soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes.
- In a medium sized frying pan, heat a glug of vegetable oil over high heat. Slice your small corn tortillas into ½ inch wide strips and lay them in the hot oil. They should cook quite quick, in a minute or less. Flip once to cook evenly. Drain on paper towel.
- Serve tortilla soup garnished with a drizzle of plain yogurt, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and a small pile of fried tortilla strips.