Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Lime and Smoked Chilies

I Made this soup tonight. This recipe comes from the Sunday Soup Cookbook. It was awesome! The cookbook suggested that I serve it with Red, Yellow and Orange Pepper Salad with Tequila-Lime Dressing, but I served it with cheese quesadillas.

1 small dried chipotle pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying tortilla strips
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used Mexican Oregano)
One 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained well
6 cups chicken stock
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into julienned strips about 1 inch long by 1/4 inch wide
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Six 6-7 inch corn tortillas
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 thin lime wedges for garnish

1. Put the chipotle pepper in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let it sit until softened, for about 20 minutes. Drain pepper, discarding water and pat dry. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a lengthwise slit in pepper and scrape out and discard seeds. Coarsely chop pepper and set aside.

2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook until softened, stirring often for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute more. Add chopped chipotle, cumin, oregano, tomatoes and stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in a food processor, blender or food mill and return soup to the pot.

3. Bring pureed soup to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken and yellow peppers. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and peppers are tender, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, taste and season with salt as needed. Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead.

4. Stack the tortillas and cut them in half. Stack halves and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wide strips. Set a medium skilled over medium high heat and coat the bottom generously with olive oil. When oil is hot, add one-third of the tortilla strips and saute, turning often, until golden and crisp, for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining strips adding more oil as needed.

5. To serve, ladle soup into 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with a generous handful of fried tortilla strips. Add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over the soup if desired.

I added avacodo to the soup as a garnish as well.

On another note...

For those of you who live in Maryland and like Merlot, you should definitely try Henry's Passion

At the age of 16, Henry Lubke (A 2005 graduate of Boys’ Latin) decided he wanted to become a winemaker. After his second year of college, he was given the opportunity to work for the Chateau Felice Winery in Sonoma County, California. Henry stayed with Chateau Felice becoming a member of their team and their family. Two months after Henry’s 21st birthday, an undetected heart condition took his life. Tom, the cellar master at Chateau Felice, decided to create the 2006 Henry’s Passion Merlot as a tribute to Henry.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of this wine will go to the Boys’ Latin School Endowment Fund in Henry’s name. You can purchase this wine at The Wine Merchant.

I love wine and I love a good cause.

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