Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

My inspiration for making soup is often a convergence of too many vegetables in the refrigerator with homemade stock and leftovers from a roast chicken. This recipe is not an authentic tortilla soup, as I managed to empty most of the contents of my veggie drawer into it. It’s chock-full of corn, beans, zucchini and peppers, simmered with a few must-have aromatics (onion and garlic) and pantry staples (canned Italian plum tomatoes and black beans).

I spiced up the stock with warming Southwestern spices, and finished the soup with a shower of shattered tortilla chips, which happened to be leftover remnants in the bottom of the bag — too small for swiping through a bowl of salsa. Leftovers never tasted so good.

If you don’t have leftover chicken on hand, a store-bought rotisserie chicken and packaged stock will do the trick. Season and spice the soup to your taste. Ideally it should have a little heat, but because our family is divided on what constitutes “spicy,” I pass a bottle of hot sauce around the table so everyone can fire up the soup to their taste. This soup is meant to be thick. More chicken stock may be added for a soupier consistency.

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Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at TasteFood, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tastefood@tastefoodblog.com. Or visit the TasteFood blog at tastefoodblog.com.

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