It’s been a crazy cold winter around here. My defense against the daily chill has been layering sweaters and cooking lots of soup.
To keep slurping soup interesting, this excellent Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe – that was posted on the University of New Hampshire’s Healthy Services page (for some reason it has now been removed) will do the trick.
The original recipe calls for cooking the soup low and slow to build flavor but I wasn’t willing to wait an hour for it to cook. To reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes, I took advantage of a two flavor boosting opportunities while preparing the chicken.
The first way to add flavor to any dish is to follow this seasoning tip Chef Jose Garces contributed to the Food Network’s 100 Greatest Cooking Tips of All Time.
The second way, is to brown the chicken in the skillet. It’s a sure-fire way to add another element of oomph to this soup!
The browned bits at the bottom of the pan are all flavor boosters waiting to meld into the broth!
To finish cooking the chicken, submerge the partially cooked halves in the broth, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Once the chicken halves are cooked through, fish them out of the broth, slice into strips and stir all that good lookin’ chicken back in!
And, if you have tortilla chips eat this soup like nachos. It’s the best!
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half / $4.15
1 tsp canola oil / $0.04
1 can (28 oz / 786 ml) stewed tomatoes / $1.17
1 cup salsa / $1.20
1 can (4 oz / 127 ml) chopped green chilies / $1.97
1/3 cup chili sauce (Heinz makes a good one) / $1.15
1 can (19 oz / 540 ml) black beans, drained / $1.09
1/2 cup grated cheese / $0.56
tortilla chips / $0.15
- Lightly season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook until outside of chicken breast is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 minutes longer on the other side. Remove chicken from saucepan and set aside.
- Add tomatoes to saucepan. With a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the saucepan to incorporate into the liquid. Stir in salsa, chilies, chili sauce and beans. Place browned chicken in the soup and cover. Cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Remove pieces of cooked chicken from soup, slice into strips.
- Stir strips of chicken back into the soup.
- To serve, place a handful of chips in a bowl, ladle soup over chips and top with cheese.
adapted from: University of New Hampshire’s Chicken Tortilla Soup