Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups frozen corn kernels
1 15oz. can black beans, drained, but not rinsed
2 cups onion, diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cups chunky salsa
8 corn tortillas cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup shredded non-dairy (parve) cheese, to serve (optional)
Non-dairy (parve) sour cream, to serve (optional)
Lime wedges, to serve (optional)

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, poach the chicken in the chicken broth. Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the broth, and set aside to allow it to become cool enough to handle. Strain the chicken broth to remove any impurities that may have accumulated while poaching the chicken.

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven (can be the same one you poached the chicken in), add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and mix well, allowing the spices to become fragrant. Then add the broth, corn, beans, lime juice, and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes. While the broth simmers, take the chicken that you have set aside, and using two forks, or your hands, shred the chicken. Add the chicken to the soup and let it simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

While the broth mixture simmers, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Fry the tortilla strips in the hot oil until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Place half of the tortilla strips in the bottom of each bowl, and then serve the soup hot with the remaining tortilla strips on top, along with the options of the cheese and sour cream. Serves 8.

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South of the Border

South of the Border

When I was a little kid, my family used to travel down to Florida quite often for a summer vacation. My parents would put work aside for 3-4 weeks, and we would all climb into the family car and drive down I-95 to the citrus-laden,  warm (read sticky and humid) sunshine state. The trip usually consisted of a 4 or 5 days in Walt Disney World (truly the happiest place on earth!) and then about 10 days on the Gulf coast in a rented house where we would read, swim, eat, swim, watch a movie, swim… you get the idea. The drive always included though a stop at “South of the Border”, a rest-stop/attraction located just south of the border between North and South Carolina. It was, and still is, a mecca of awful tourist kitsch and slightly offensive novelties. For a kid, it was AMAZING! You would see the signs along the highway, crazy day-glow billboards with moving parts beckoning you to stop, for a little siesta. Truth was though, my parents loved it as much as we did. Recently, my mother stopped by to pay homage on a a road-trip, and she told me it was just like I remembered. With that in mind, today’s recipe is for Chicken Tortilla Soup. A Mexican/Latino spin on what we Jews have been using as penicillin for years. I hope you enjoy the caliente flavours and give yourself a little olé!