Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup with Poblanos and Posole



Winter is certainly not my favorite time of year.  Sure, I love the holidays and enjoy time with family.  It's just the dang cold I don't like.  And I like snow even less, which makes me outnumbered in my house because everyone else loves snow.

But there is one thing I dearly love about winter...THE FOOD!!  Soups and stews and pot roasts and potatoes, all darn tasty things.  So last night my food of choice was Chicken Tortilla Soup with Poblanos and Posole.  What's posole, you ask?  Well, it's hominy, corn's heartier, more savory cousin.  Since I live in Texas which is rich in Hispanic culture, I call it posole.  And nothing beats a roasted poblano.  I put them in soups and queso and enchiladas.  They have a mild heat and rich flavor that enhances whatever it's in.

Now, my husband was never a soup fan until he met me.  Soup just didn't seem to be a filling meal in his mind.  His experience with soup was eating a dismal showing of flavored broth with minimal morsels of anything else.  But, when I make soup, sometimes I think there are more beautiful chunks of meat and veggies than broth.  But it's a substantial kind of thing to sit by the fire and devour.

I know there are plenty of tortilla soup recipes out there, but this one is packed with flavor and a little heat, too.  I think you'll find it's worth a try!



CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP WITH POBLANOS AND POSOLE

1 onion, diced
3 serrano peppers, diced (use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 poblanos, roasted, seeded and chopped (see instructions below)
4 cups chicken stock
2 lbs chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 15-ounce can of posole, drained and rinsed
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 T cumin
2 T chili powder
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder
Crushed red pepper flakes (to suit your taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of corn tortillas, cut into strips

Garnishes:
Chopped avacado
Shredded cheese of choice (we used colby jack)
Sour cream
Chopped cilantro

To roast the poblanos, throw them on a sheet pan and in the oven at 400 degrees and cook, turning occasionally, until charred all over.  Let them cool and then peel the skins off.  Slice them open and remove the seeds and stem before chopping.

Cook onions and serranos in olive oil until tender.  Add in the chicken stock and remaining soup ingredients.  Fill the pot (I used a 6-quart dutch oven) with enough water to cover the soup.  Let the soup boil about 20 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, while the soup is cooking, place the corn tortilla strips on a sheet pan. Spray with cooking spray and seasoned salt (I use Lawry's) and spread in an even layer.  Cook at 400, turning frequently, until crunchy and golden.  It doesn't take long, so keep your eyes on them.

Serve the soup over the tortillas and garnish with toppings you like!

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