Monday, May 20, 2013

Tortilla Soup, Ole! Plus May Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup

This month's Kosher Connection theme is croutons.  Croutons are delicious, crunchy, fun to eat, generally not so good for you.  But I love them - who doesn't, really?  There is nothing yummier than homemade croutons: a diced loaf of crusty bread, tossed with butter or oil and amazing seasonings, toasted until perfectly crisp on the outside, with a little chew on the inside, so delicious and addictive, and then you put them in some incredibly flavorful soup or a beautiful salad, mmmmm...

Sorry, distracted.  Where was I again?  Oh, yeah, right.  I figure that as a baker, I contribute to not such healthy eating for some folks, so I have to be more careful when it comes to the courses preceding dessert.  That's why I went with a lighter style crouton - tortilla crisps.  No frying here, and the only added fat is cooking spray.  No seasoning is added, though still delicious.  And they top off a bold and hearty soup, which, oddly enough, is beloved by every single member of my family.  How often does that happen?!

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Crisps
3 flour tortillas
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray both sides of the tortillas with a light coating of cooking spray.  Cut tortillas into 1/2" by  1 1/2" strips.  Spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5 - 10 minutes, tossing about 3 minutes through for even cooking.  Remove from oven when they are toasted and LIGHTLY colored.  Set aside to cool.

2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
canola oil
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 green hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced (be super careful about touching anything after dicing the hot peppers! Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth, children... And even if you wear gloves, remember that the cutting board may retain the spicy heat, so be careful when you wash it)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon each salt, cumin, and chili powder (the seasoning amounts are very subjective - feel free to adjust to your preference!)
8 cups chicken stock (use water and chicken soup powder in a pinch) + 1 cup water
1 cup frozen corn
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 can black, kidney, or chili beans, drained and rinsed

Saute onions and garlic in a small amount of canola oil until onions and translucent and tender. Add in red, yellow, and hot peppers and saute for 2 more minutes, until beginning to soften. Add in the tomatoes (drained or not, depending if you prefer a redder or less red soup, really not that important unless you have a child who only likes yellow soup. I wish I had made that up, but yeah, got one or two of those.), and seasoning and stir. Then add in chicken stock and water and bring just to a boil and then lower. Allow to simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Add in frozen corn and diced chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes, then add in drained beans and simmer until everything is just heated through.  Adjust seasoning and serve, sprinkling each bowl with a handful of tortilla crisps.  Serve additional crisps on the side, because they're so good.

And when you've had your fill of this delicious soup, check out what all the other talented cooks have contributed to this month's linkup!

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