Confession: I had no idea how to make chicken tortilla soup. What I did know is that I loved working Wednesdays at The Cheesecake Factory because it was the day they featured this particularly delicious blend of chicken and spice. I could easily be found at work 20 minutes early, consuming a bowl of the liquid goodness with a smile on my face. Even as the heat of summer tried its best to sway me from my weekly habit.
Last week I found myself with stock in my fridge and visions of chickens, tortilla strips and brothy, spicy soup in my head. I threw these things together and hoped it would work. I did not disappoint myself.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 chicken breasts
1 cup salsa (use what you prefer, I have an obsession with medium pace)
4 cups cooked rice
5 tbsp butter, separated
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 quarts chicken stock (If you don’t make your own, use low sodium stock)
1 can ro*tel (warning! if you can’t handle spicy, get the mild version)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (4.5 oz) cans diced green chiles
4 tbsp flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Toppings of choice: I prefer tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, sour cream, cilantro and lemon.
- In a slow cooker, combine the chicken and salsa. Set to low and cover. Once thoroughly cooked, use a fork to shred the chicken. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot, saute the onion and garlic until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and add beans, green chiles, tomatoes and ro*tel. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, uncovered.
- Using a colander, separate the stock from the contents in two separate bowls.
- *Melt the 3 tbsp of butter in the stockpot over medium high heat.
- *Add the flour and whisk. Once thickened, reduce heat to medium.
- Slowly ladle the stock, approximately one cup at a time, and whisk, allowing the roux to thicken the sauce. Continue adding stock and stirring until all of the stock is incorporated.
- Whisk in the heavy cream.
- Add the beans, tomatoes and chiles to the soup and simmer.
- I like to put the rice at the bottom of the bowl then add the chicken, soup, a squeeze of lemon, cheese, avocado, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
* If you prefer a thicker soup, increase the amount for the roux. I prefer my soup less thick.