Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken Soup to Cure You

I've been knocked down for most of the week by a nasty cold once again. And you know I'm really sick when a two things happen: 1) I don't go to work and 2) I don't feel like cooking. In fact, today I know I'm feeling better because I woke up in a cooking mood.

Interestingly enough, right before I got sick this week I had made a big pot of chicken soup which is exactly what I wanted to eat while I was ailing. It's almost like my subconscious was preparing me for the few days of illness that lied ahead! But I'm not a big fan of chicken noodle soup, so I had made a pot of chicken tortilla.

This is a recipe I found in one of my Food Network Kitchens cookbooks and when I first made it a few years ago Bill fell in love with it. He claims it's his favorite soup ever, and I'd have to agree that it's pretty damn good.

It's extremely simple to make, but the biggest problem I've had with it in the past is finding the chipotle chiles in adobo. The first time I made it, I found them in the ethnic foods aisle, no problem. I went back a few weeks later and the shelf was empty. I went back for weeks after that and the shelf was still empty. I even hassled the guys at Pick 'n Save about it. Eventually, a co-worker found them for me at another store and picked up two cans. Since then I haven't really looked for them and the ones I used in this recipe were from the last of those cans my co-worker bought for me. Bill requested this soup again soon, so I hope I won't run into a similar problem finding them now. Maybe it was just an isolated incident of the mysteriously disappearing chiles. Regardless, I see them popping up in recipes ALL THE TIME now, so they shouldn't be so difficult to come by.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup corn kernels (canned corn is fine)
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Broken tortilla chips

Place chicken breasts in a pot filled with water. Bring to a boil and poach chicken breasts until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (When poaching chicken, you can't really overcook it, so I err on the side of caution and cook it until all my prep is done ... which may be longer than 15 minutes.) Remove chicken to cutting board and let cool.

Heat the oil in another pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, chipotle chile, chili powder and salt, Cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Off the heat, add the chicken, tomato and lime juice to the soup. Place several broken tortilla chips in the bottom of your soup bowls and ladle the soup over the chips. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

You may or may not be able to tell, but I LOVE SOUP. And this one has definitely risen to the top of the charts and become one of my favorites. My soon-to-be-pharmacist BFF told me that chicken soup has been scientifically proven to help you feel better when you're sick, and while this one may not have been what the researchers had in mind, I'm pretty sure it works, too.

As a side note, I actually skipped the chips when I made this soup this week because I didn't have any on hand. I think I actually prefer it without the chips, to tell you the truth. But if you're into soggy tortilla chips floating in your soup, then by all means, go to town with them.

1 comment:

  1. I knew there would be some legit research to back up the chicken soup cure!

    This sounds really good, even without the chips. I never got making chips soggy, but never tried this soup without them. I guess it's all about the flavor, and you've got that in there!

    I assumed that even around here, Safeway would have those chiles, but I just checked online- no luck. I guess the ethnic food stores it is!