Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tortilla Soup
All good things come from Oprah.
Al's going to hit me in the face for typing that. He hates Oprah. Not so much because of who she is as a person, but because of her legions of sheep-like followers...I like her. I think it might secretly hurt him inside when I buy an Oprah magazine, but they're just so good. I mean, the articles are 10x better than in any other woman's magazine, and the recipes...well, let's just say I've never seen a bad recipe come out of an Oprah magazine.
This recipe is from the October 2007 issue.

Tortilla Soup
1 dried ancho chili
1/2 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
2 tsp ground cumin
6 cups chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
6 corn tortillas
vegetable oil, for frying

1. place chili in a small, heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and let soak 30 min. Drain; remove stem and seeds. Slice into 1/2-inch thick strips and set aside
2. In a heavy dutch oven or soup pan, heat olive oil over med high heat. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, about 10 min total. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Continue to cook about 8 min, stirring often. Add garlic and cumin and cook and additional 2 min. Add broth, reserved chili, tomatoes and cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 min. With your hands, tear 3 tortillas into 2-inch strips and add to the soup. Continue to simmer about 15 min.
3. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a cutting board; take soup off heat. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or take your life in your own hands and do this in small batches in the blender...if you put the lid on tight the heat will cause some sort of pressure reaction and the lid with come flying off, leaving you scalded and scarred for life). With two forks, shred chicken; return to soup. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Now you can either slice up the rest of those tortillas and deep fry them to make a tasty garnish, or you can be lazy and use some ready-made tortilla chips.

This soup is delicious and spicy. If you have a cold, this will burn it out of you. If you have an ulcer...this is a bad plan.

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