Tortilla Soup (Vegetarian Style)

28 September 2009

I am following Analiese's blog Tulips and Tea and she recently put up a post called tortilla soup (found here). Monday nights are the time I get to eat a homemade meal with Noah for the week and I had been looking for a recipe to use on this particular evening. She even offered idea for a vegetarian version which is what sold me. Let me tell you, she's not kidding; this is delicious!

This is the recipe as taken from Analiese's page:

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Serves 4)
1 large bag of corn tortilla chips (at some grocery stores, you can find the ones that are already shaped like tortilla strips, but if not, just use your favorite brand of regular tortilla chips)
1 32-oz box or can of chicken broth (we like the boxed Pacific brand)
1 cup water
1 cup canned stewed or diced tomatoes with juices (we used Muir Glen's canned diced tomatoes with roasted garlic)
1 bay leaf
2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 white or Spanish onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
Note: If you have a Mexican seasoning blend, you can use simply 1 teaspoon of that and omit or add very small amounts of the other spices.
12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Avocado, sliced, and sour cream (or plain yogurt) for garnish

Combine garlic and onion in a large saucepan or soup pot. Sautee until onions are translucent. Add broth, water, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, cumin, red pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to saucepan; bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken; simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in green onions, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately in large soup bowls. Sprinkle tortilla chips on top, crumbling them with your fingers as you do. Garnish with slices of avocado and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

The changes we made:

-Pure and simple we forgot the white onion so we just added a little extra onion powder - it tasted just perfect although I'm sure onions could only have added more flavor.
-We added in frozen corn to the mix and it was delicious
-used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
-instead of chicken breasts we used two baking potatoes (almost 16 oz total) which I prefer to chicken anyways. Worked just wonderful in the soup
-as it says optional, we opted out for the sour cream

Honestly it was a wonderful meal (and quite hot) so we added a side of freshly baked french bread. Perfect way to end a day and start an evening.

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