January always feels like the longest month of the year, so I wanted to share something that keeps us feeling good, even on the 54th day of the month. Soup! Soup is one of my favorite comfort meals, just having it cooking on the stove brings me joy. This month one of my favorites was Ina Garten’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s great to make for a party or a group - keep it warm on the stove, and let everyone add their own toppings. Flavorful, satisfying, and fun!
Ina always starts with skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts. I just didn’t have the time to start all the way a the beginning so for this one, I fudged it a bit and used a store-bought rotisserie chicken. (Store bought is fine, right?) I shredded the chicken and got right to cooking the veggies.
As the recipe suggests, I did cut and add the corn tortillas, but they got a little mushy for me. Next time I may add them to each bowl individually so that they don't get as soggy. Loved all the toppings, the crispy broken tortilla chips added a nice crunch that everyone enjoyed. I was happy to be able to use our new Pillivuyt Soup and Pasta Bowls because they’re a wider diameter and have more space for the toppings. Plus, the presentation of the soup is just so pretty in these bowls!
If you make it or have made it in the past, let me know your thoughts. And would love to know some of your favorite soup recipes.
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil (Olio Santo)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapeños cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using.
Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.
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