This weeks weekend herb blogging celebrates one of my favorite herbs – cilantro. Every week when I go grocery shopping I buy parsley and cilantro, whether I need it or not. I know that sometime through the week I’ll use it in something. I keep it in a vacuum sealed cannister (love my foodsaver) and it stays very fresh. I’ve tried to grow cilantro before and it just goes to seed on me after I harvest…oh maybe…three leaves! I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, or maybe cilantro just doesn’t like Tennessee, I have a hard time with thyme too..a hard time with thyme..ha ha..I crack myself up sometimes.
So, this weeks recipe is Chicken Tortilla Soup. I made mine in the crockpot (my new best friend), but it could easily be made on the stove. I found several recipes on the internet here and here and this one from Tyler Florence sounds particularly tasty. I sort of adapted one from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 4 to 5
28 oz can whole tomatoes
10 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 oz can green chilies chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I used the stems and saved the leaves for the garnish)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 lbs of chicken pieces (I used a combination of thighs and drumsticks)
1 cup of corn kernels (I used frozen)
finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream or yogurt (I didn’t use this)
Combine first 14 ingredients (through chicken) in the slow cooker. Turn to low and set to cook for 8-10 hours. Go to work. Or if it’s the weekend, go hiking or go shopping or whatever floats your boat. When you get home, and there is about an hour left on the timer (if your slow cooker is fancy and has a timer) remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set it aside to cool a bit. Stir in the frozen corn. When the chicken is cool enough, pull the meat from the bones and stir back into the soup.
While the chicken is cooling. You can make your tortilla strips by preheating the oven to 400. Spraying the tortillas with cooking spray, cutting them into strips, placing them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and baking for about 8-10 minutes. Or you can simply open a bag of tortilla chips.
To serve the soup: ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cheese, sour cream, avocado and cilantro. You can artfully arrange the tortilla strips dunked in the soup, or served on the side, or you can break them up in the bowl first, where they sort of turn into dumpling like noodles.
This was really good. I have definitely learned that a fresh garnish makes all the difference in the world. It really elevates a dish and adds a great freshness. My daughter raved about this the whole time she was eating it. Of course, she has been eating college dorm food since August, so you have to take that into consideration.