Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On Chicken Tortilla Soup

This, thus far, is my best soup. I am obsessed with the idea of a chicken tortilla soup, and have been reading every recipe I can get my hands on. This is my result. The key to this is that it must cook all day long, so it's primo for the crock pot. If you only cook it a half day, it's so spicy and raw tasting that, well, you'll DEFINITELY have leftovers.

(Click here for printable recipe.)

1. Into a crock pot, add a large can of crushed or diced tomatoes.
2. Add a few tablespoons of corn (good place for leftovers because a whole can is way too much).
3. Add a can or two of rinsed black beans.
4. Add your chicken. Whatever you have leftover or two plus thighs, shredded. Chicken breasts do not belong in a slow cooker because they simply turn out dry and mealy.
5. The chicken broth or stock is going to be the base for your soup, so add as much as it looks like it needs to make it soup-y.
6. The big secret in this dish is El Pinto green chile sauce in medium. Here's what it looks like: and I've found it at Wal Mart, Harmons, and Albertsons. I like to add 3/4 of the jar to the mix and add the rest when it's done, but I am preferring foods spicier and spicier in my old age. If you're not looking for something spicy, just use the whole jar at the beginning. Trust me, cooking it all day leaves all the flavor and loses almost all the hot. Mix together, cook on low all day. I like to sneak into it half-way and stir down the browned bits from the sides of the pot.

Tomatoes: $.86
canned corn: $.25 (or use leftovers)
black beans: $.74
chicken stock: freebie from the freezer
chicken: $3.00 (or leftovers)
green chile sauce: $2.97

So, $7.82 overall for 8 servings, $.98 each. If you use leftovers though, you're at $4.57 and $.57 each. When I use leftovers, I like to drive by the local Chili's and get an order of their chips and salsa to go. It's $2.99 total, you get a big bag (probably 8 servings), and salsa. Their chips are super thin and really delicious to put in the bottom of the bowl before you ladle the soup on. Home-fried corn tortillas are completely amazing in this as well.

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