Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is a perfect meal to enjoy on a cold winter’s day. While one of us grilled the chicken thighs and tortillas, the others chopped the vegetables and prepared the base of the soup. Once we added the chopped, grilled chicken thighs to the soup and set it to simmer for 15 minutes, we assembled the garnishes and set the table for lunch. This was the perfect meal to enjoy between a morning of down-hill skiing and snowboarding and an afternoon of cross-country skiing through the woods.
4 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro stems
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
6 cups chicken stock
1 small tin tomato paste
1 chipotle pepper, diced
3 cobs corn, kernels cut off the cobs
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 can Bush’s Sweet Mesquite Black Beans
2 avocados, cut in chunks
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped cilantro leaves
Grilled corn tortillas, broken
Vegetable oil, for brushing the tortillas
Preheat barbecue on MEDIUM HIGH, then reduce temperature to MEDIUM LOW. Place the chicken thighs on the grill, turn once and cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the skin and chop into 1/2” pieces.
In a large dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil on MEDIUM, and add the onions, celery and both kinds of peppers. Cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the garlic, cilantro stems, cumin and coriander, and stir until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken stock and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and add the chipotle pepper, corn kernels, and chopped tomatoes. Simmer until the corn is cooked, and add the black beans and the chicken. Heat until steaming hot.
Meanwhile, brush the corn tortillas with vegetable oil, and place on a heated grill set to LOW. Cook until heated and crisped, about 4 minutes, turning often. Let rest until cool enough to break into pieces.
Ladle the hot soup into heated bowls, and garnish as desired. Squeeze lime juice over the soup for a nice bright flavour.