Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making Chicken Tortilla Soup with Homemade Chicken Broth

Do you love soups in winter?  I do.  I make soup at least once a week during the winter months, sometimes twice a week.  Many of the soups I make have a chicken broth base.  While you can use broth from the grocery store I like to make my own.  It is really easy to do.  Here's how to do it:

Homemade Chicken Broth

I forgot the celery in this picture

  • 1 whole fryer, 3-5 lbs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large, or 2 medium carrots
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • fresh rosemary, parsley (whatever fresh herbs you have)


Wash the chicken and pat it dry.  Place the chicken in a large pot.  Cover with water, approximately 8 cups.  Cut the onion, celery and carrot into large chunks.  You don't need to peel the carrots, but I do.  If you leave the skin on the onion your broth will have a lovely, rich color.   Add the peppercorns and fresh herbs.  Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 50 minutes.

Chicken and Vegetables in the Pot
After 50 minutes remove the chicken from the pot to cool.  Cool it only long enough for you to handle.  Remove the skin and meat from the bones.  Discard the skin, refrigerate the chicken meat and return the bones to the pot.  Continue to simmer the broth and bones for another 50 minutes. 

Using a mesh strainer, strain the broth into a bowl.  You can also strain your broth through cheesecloth if you prefer a clearer broth.  I usually don't bother.  Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.   When cold, skim any fat from the top, and package into containers or zippered bags for freezing.

Strained and Ready to be Cooled

You'll find the chicken you refrigerated to be delicious for use in a chicken salad, chicken soup, chicken pot pie or chicken enchiladas.  I'll make any and all of those depending on my mood at the time.  Today I'm making chicken tortilla soup.   It's the perfect soup when you are craving the kicked up flavor of Mexican food, but wanting the warm comfort of a soup.  This soup a perfect January soup, especially with the weather we've had in the Northeast these past few weeks!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T corn meal
  • 4-6 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • Various toppings of choice

Mix the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt together in a small bowl.  Toss the shredded chicken with 1 tsp of the spice mixture.  Set aside.  Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven on medium heat.  Add the onion, peppers and garlic.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in the spice mixture and cook for one more minute.  Add the chicken, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Mix corn meal with 2 T of water and add to the soup to help thicken.  Continue to cook for 10 minutes more.  Add the tortilla strips and chopped cilantro.  Stir, cover and remove from heat to rest for 10 minutes.

Prepare toppings for soup.  I suggest shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, guacamole or chopped avocado and chopped green onion.  The more the better!

Click the links for the printable Chicken broth recipe and the printable Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.

Here are some other soup recipe posts you might like:
Chili for A Chilly Day
Tomato Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Minestrone Soup
Creamy Broccoli Soup

Yum!  Make your own chicken broth and explore the possibilities.  Soup for you...



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