Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Tortilla Soup

Cinco de Mayo is my mother's birthday, so Happy Birthday Mom! Her parents both share a Mexican heritage, so I guess that we have always felt a bit more pride in the holiday than we should. We've grown up getting the best Mexican dishes straight from her kitchen, so any excuse to eat it always works for us.

My husband is currently TDY, but we'll have to have our own little fiesta when he gets back. I do have a current recipe to share. Last week we got a large dose of Spring rain and I couldn't think of a better dish to warm us all up than Tortilla Soup.

Tortilla Soup

1 1/2 cup - 2 cups Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

1 Large Can of Tomato Sauce

1 Small Can Tomato Paste

2 cups Water

2 Cans Cream of Chicken

1 cup Minute Rice

1 Bell Pepper, chopped

Half an Onion, minced

2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
2 Packages of Sazon Goya

1 teaspoon Cumin 1 JalapeƱo finely chopped
or 1 Teaspoon Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning

1 cup Frozen Corn Fresh Cilantro

2 Tortillas

Bring the Water, Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste, Cream of Chicken, Bell Pepper, Onion, Garlic, JalapeƱo, Rice, and all seasonings to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer for about an hour (or more) stirring occasionally. Then take out a cup of the soup and put it in another skillet and cook the chopped chicken in it. Then add the fully cooked Chicken (and any remains of the cup of soup) back to the big mixture. Add the Corn and Cilantro and cook for another half hour. For thicker soup, let the mixture reduce longer. To thin, add a little more water. Garnish with Cilantro, Crunchy Tortilla Strips, and a bit of Cumin.

For the Tortilla Strips: Cut Tortillas lengthwise into strips, and either bake or fry them until just golden brown. I have done white and wheat tortillas, both taste delicious with the soup!

*I thought it would be a good idea to add a bit of Velveeta and Chicken Broth instead of water. The soup was so salty (and I didn't add any of my own salt) that I had to add water to it in order to eat it. I wouldn't recommend the Chicken Broth, but 1/3 cup Velveeta seemed to work okay. The rice helps to thicken the soup. I have used Minute Rice in the past, but last time used a whole wheat rice. It never did "cook" and ended up being crunchy. So I don't recommend that kind unless it's pre-cooked! In a pinch, it's always nice to have some salsa on hand to thicken up the soup or subsitute it for the peppers and onions ;]