Tortilla Soup with Chicken

This is a great soup to make when corn is in season, plus you can set it up in a slow cooker for weeknight meals. Grilling corn is the easiest thing ever (see note at bottom). If you’re grilling up corn, add a couple of cobs to the grill and save them for the soup! 

Serves 4

  • 2 chicken breast halves or 4 - 6 chicken thighs (bone-in is fine for either, remove skin)
  • 2 dried pasilla peppers, roasted or ½ tsp ground pasilla chile (or substitute ancho chile)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 medium can (14.5 oz/400 gr) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups (about 2 whole cobs) whole kernel corn
  • 1 large tetra pack (4 cup/900 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of ½ lemon 
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into strips, and toasted in a dry pan

To garnish:

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and finely chopped 
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) crumbled feta 

To prepare dried peppers, toast them in a dry skillet over high heat until they soften and plump up slightly. Remove stem and seeds and finely chop. You can crisp the corn tortillas in the same pan, set aside to cool completely, and keep in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook onions until they just begin to soften. Add garlic and jalapeño and continue to sauté for a minute. 

Place the chicken, dried chile peppers, sauteed vegetables, tomatoes with juices, beans, corn, broth, oregano, and cumin in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Uncover the slow cooker and use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot. Once cool enough to handle, shred the meat, pulling it from the bones if using bone-in chicken. Return the meat to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice. 

Spoon into bowls. Stir in the tortilla strips and garnish with cilantro, avocado, and feta. 

Easy grilled corn: Heat up the grill to medium or medium-high for direct cooking. DO NOT shuck the corn or pull back the husks, and no need for soaking in water. Those little kernels of corn are bursting with juice! Trim any long pieces of husk or silks from the end of unshucked cobs. Place the cobs directly on the grill and turn occasionally until the husks are evenly beginning to brown on all sides; avoid blackening them. The moisture content and freshness of the corn will determine how long it takes but ususally around 10-15 mins. Remove the cobs; they will stay warm up to 20 mins. With oven mitts on, pull back the husks and the silks will come off easily. You can pull the husks off all the way, or leave some on to tie into a handle. 

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