This soup recipe is a delicious Mexican variation called chicken tortilla. The key as always is to use fresh ingredients and to use a quality chicken stock or broth as the base.
If you have fresh tomatoes, then please use them, but canned will work equally as well.
Do not saute the veggies until they turn to mush. Instead, simply bring out the flavor and allow everything to blend together. I also prefer sautéing in grapeseed oil because it imparts no flavor and takes higher heat.
Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Chicken tortilla soup
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 medium serrano pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups southwestern corn
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 pounds diced tomatoes (about 4 to 5)
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
1 pound boneless chicken thighs (cooked and shredded)
2 cups canned black beans
Heat a large stockpot over high heat add in oil when pan is hot. Sauté peppers, onion, garlic until onions are translucent.
Add corn, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken thighs and black beans. to the large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, then add in shredded chicken meat and black beans, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and serve with fresh tortilla chips and salsa, and a few condiments such as, sour cream, guacamole, minced onion and shredded cheese.