Many many years ago.... When I was stilling working for the bank, in downtown St. Paul, I had my choice of so many places to lunch at. We would take the skyway system to our choice of the day and get whatever flavor or food group it was we were craving. One day when out on our daily lunch hunt, my friend Nancy and I, went to a sub joint in the Depot building. This particular place always had homemade soups, and on this day they were serving Tortilla Soup. I had never had this kind of soup, so of course I ordered it. It was just amazing, and I was in love. The flavor was like no soup I had ever had. It was just the perfect Mexican flavorings and veggies all pulled together in one little bowl. YUM!
And then ....this sub place closed. I really was just about devastated. From then on, any time I went to a restaurant, diner or deli that was serving Tortilla Soup, I had to order it. None of the soups I tried have ever compared. I have tried cooking various recipes myself, but just couldn't find that flavor combination that rocked my taste buds like that first bowl. Until now that is!! I was so excited when I read the recipe for Tortilla Soup that Sweet Pea's Kitchen had on her blog. It sounded amazing just reading it!
Like everything else this month, it was complicated getting ready to make it. Can't keep the vehicle running to get to the store. Can't go shopping with all the ice, you know... one thing after another. Well, finally all ingredients in hand, I made the soup, and it was delicious. The right balance of spices, and I really think the cilantro is what pulled it together with that amazing flavor combination! Next time, I will save just a little bit of Cilantro for some garnish.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (10.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup whole corn kernels
1 cup white corn (I used Green Giant Chipotle White Corn)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2-3 boneless chicken breast halves
Tortilla chips, crushed
1 avocado, sliced
Shredded Cheese (Cheddar or Colby)
Green onions, chopped
Sour Cream (I topped with Greek Yogurt)
Heat oil in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, tomatoes, broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and shred. Return to pot and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, green onion, cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.