Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekday Meals: Chicken Tortilla Soup

I mentioned yesterday that I did not feel well, and I didn't.  My skin was on fire and I'd recently developed a case of the sniffles.  I actually went home early from work today, because I'm pretty sure I'm running a fever.  I needed to figure out something to eat for dinner yesterday, and for some reason I really wanted chicken tortilla soup.  Eating hot soup while it's 105 degrees outside doesn't make any sense, and it makes less sense considering that my skin is probably around 105 degrees too.  I don't question these things.  I just make what sounds tasty.

I thought I had a pretty decent recipe that I'd developed over the years, but I stumbled across this one by the Scrumptious Chef.  It had everything I was craving.  It's a little involved, but not in a difficult way.  Mainly it just takes a while to cook the stock.  The results were out of this world outstanding.  It's definitely my new go-to for chicken tortilla soup.



  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 pounds)
  • 3 bays leaves
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • Tops of 1 bunch of celery (you'll use the stalks later)

For the soup
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 Poblano peppers
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husked and cut in half.
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1 entire clove of garlic, minced
  • Jalapeno (optional)

To make the stock:
Combine all of the ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.  Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for one hour.  At the end of the hour, debone the chicken and set aside.  Straing the stock through a fine sieve and throw away the vegetables.  Add the bones back to the stock and simmer for another hour.

During that hour, prepare your vegetables.  Place the Poblanos, tomatillos, and jalapenos on a baking sheet and broil for 10-15 minutes until the skins are charred and blistered.  They should look almost black.

So what in the world is a tomatillo?  They are a small, green vegetable that is similar to a cross between a tomato and a pepper.  They have a tart but slightly spicy flavor that makes them perfect for Mexican food.  They come in a papery husk that needs to be removed.

Your vegetables should be this charred.

Once the Poblanos are charred place them in a paper bag and allow them to steam for approximately 5 minutes.  This will enable you to easily remove the skins.  After the peppers have steamed remove the skins and discard.  Roughly chop and set aside.

Here's where I went a little off recipe.  You know it was bound to happen.  Add the tomatillos, the jalapenos (if using), and one poblano in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Season lightly with salt.

Add the chopped onion, celery, and garlic to a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.  

After 15 minutes, add the chopped poblanos to the mixtures and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add in the pureed tomatillo mixture and cook for another 15 minutes.  
You're probably starting to get sick of me saying "15 minutes"

If you timed this correctly, you should finish about the exact time the stock finishes simmering for it's hour.  Strain the stock mixture again to remove the bones.  Add the stock back to the saucepan.

Add the chicken and the vegetable mixture to the saucepan and simmer for an hour longer.
Keep with it!  You're almost to the finish line!

At the end of the hour, taste for salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings.
Some suggestions include: avocados, sour cream, Mexican cheeses (cojita, creama, pepper jack), freshly squeezed lime, crispy chips, cilantro, etc.

Honestly, it's so good.  And definitely a great cure for a sunburn and the sniffles.


Rebeka said...

Oh my this looks wonderful. I'll have to save this away for next winter!

Abby said...

I hope you feel better! A good soup should help ;)

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