Well, it officially feels like fall. I say this every year but as selfish as it sounds, the second I’m back to work in September I’m ready for the cool weather. I mean seriously, if I’m going to be trapped in a building without A.C, I’m crossing my fingers for sweater weather… don’t hate me too much! Just think of the sweaters, denim, BOOTS, scarves, coats… ah, see?! When you think of it like that, fall really is the best season!
With the cool temperatures comes a shift in my cooking. Salads and BBQ take a back seat to soup. I grew up with my mom and grandma always making the most delicious homemade soups, so the thought of canned or bought soup makes me cringe!! I have come to notice that many people are intimidated by the thought of making homemade soup, which is crazy to me…It is seriously SO easy!
Let me share one of my favourite soups- it is hearty, easy, and has a tonne of kick!!
Spicy Tortilla Soup
Homemade Tortilla Chips (optional)
- 5 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup canola oil (for frying the tortilla chips)
- salt for seasoning
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can niblet corn
- 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
- 1/2 jar of pickled jalapenos (less or more depending on how spicy you want it!)
- 4 cups chicken broth – I prefer the Better Than Bouillon kind over the carton because you don’t have to worry about it going bad if you don’t use it all.
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I prefer Almers Accents black pepper flavour)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken – if you’re feeling lazy the roast chickens work great!
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- scoop of sour cream
- tortilla chips (bought or homemade, depending on how you’re feeling!)
Tortilla chips- buy chips OR if you’re feeling like an eager beaver make your own. It’s actually not that hard, I promise!
Making your own tortilla chips is a great way to use up any old(ish) corn tortilla wraps you may have… obviously check for mold, that is not good. Cut the shells in half and then cut the halves into 1/4-inch wide strips. Fry them in oil until they’re crisp. Remove from pan and dab off excess oil, season with salt. If your tortillas are fresh I suggest baking them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 200°F to dry them out a bit before frying them. Set aside and use for garnish.
In a large pot saute onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add the chopped jalapeños, cook for 2 more minutes, then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. WOW, I sound so bossy. You could likely throw it all in a pot at the same time and it would be fine… this is just how I like do it, because I’m inefficient like that.
Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, drained black beans, corn, salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high. Heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cook until heated through.
Garnish! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART AND TAKES THE SOUP FROM A 6 TO A SOLID 10!! Ah, sorry I yelled but I swear do not skip out on the garnishes for this soup you’ll be annoyed that I made you try this because you won’t be impressed… but hey, who’s fault will it be, I told you!!
So, like I was saying, garnish with sliced avocado, cheese, a squeezed lime wedge, tortilla chips, cilantro (or parsley) and a dollop of sour cream (or greek yogurt if you’re healthy like that) and TA-DA!!!! You’re all done!
Enjoy my loves!