Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tortilla Chicken Soup

I’m on a soup kick. 

Lunch seems to slip past each day, lost in the blur of laundry, errands and kid transport.   Around 3pm I start nibbling at my chocolate stash too hungry to think.    I KNOW this is bad so I’ve made it easier to eat lunch.  Having a pot of fresh, savory soup in the fridge does the trick.

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Last month I made a batch of chicken stock.  The recipe called for two whole chickens and pounds of vegetables.  It was worth every penny and every minute spent chopping and stirring. 

Homemade stock is so superb it makes even the best store bought chicken stock taste like salted water.  The recipe also yielded pounds of shredded chicken which I froze in one pound bags.  This recipe used the last of it so it’s time to make so more.  Organic Free Range chickens are on sale right now at Central Market buy one get one free.

Mexican Chicken Soup

From :  Ina Garten

  • 4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Good olive oil
  • 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 jalapeno 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, jalapenos, 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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fresh Pea Soup

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I love Sundays.  Its the day my whole family sleeps in, relaxes together and the day I put together our weekly menus.  There are days, like today, when I stare at the empty paper and nothing happens.  I try in vain to summon creative meals beyond tacos and happy bowls and eventually resort to the cookbook shelf.  The cheerful faces of Ina Garten, Kathy Casey and others never fails to inspire me and the thought of all the seasonal goodies in my garden right now brought me to this fresh and light Sunday dinner.

fresh pea soup 081Fresh Pea Soup

From:  Barefoot Contessa at Home

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 5 cups freshly shelled peas or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped chives
  • Garlic croutons, for serving


Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the mint, salt, and pepper.

*Puree the soup in batches: place 1 cup of soup in a blender, place the lid on top, and puree on low speed. With the blender still running, open the venthole in the lid and slowly add more soup until the blender is three-quarters full. Pour the soup into a large bowl and repeat until all the soup is pureed. Whisk in the creme fraiche and chives and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with garlic croutons.