Han and I had this conversation about excitement the other day. He asked me what I would feel excited about besides going to those places on my bucket list, such as climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa.
“I am excited to watch you eating whenever I cook something new and hear what you think about the food.” It didn’t take me long to come up with the answer. Am I sweet?
Han raised one of his eyebrows, “Seriously? That can get you excited?!”
I raised one of my eyebrows even higher and continued, “I am even more excited when I think a recipe is ready to share. I just can’t wait to let people know about it!” I surprised myself by the belated realization while adding these words.
My excitement flows from putting ingredients together, to managing each combination to perfection, to writing up the final recipe with photos included, to sharing with you every week, and to listening to what you say. You know what’s the best part about this? It’s recurring!
Right now, at this very moment, I am having one of these hyper excitements again because of this killer Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that I am about to share with you. I want you to have it badly!
Allow me to run a breakdown and explain why.
Last week, I shared a cooking tip about how to make perfect shredded chicken and chicken broth along the way. I hope you have found it useful. If you still have some shredded chicken in your fridge or freezer, it will come very handy for today’s recipe! You are vegetarian? Go ahead and omit the chicken. We are going to have lots of vegetables covered in this savory soup.
One thing I learned from cooking for the Mexican Entrepreneur Retreat last month was how to prepare tortillas for cooking properly – cut tortillas into stripes or quarters, set under the sun for a few hours to dry and fry them. Legit! However, I intend to make things happen quickly and easily. Tortilla chips work just fine in this case. 🙂
Now you have made it to the core of this recipe – the soup base! Use a food processor to blend roasted Roma tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro with chicken broth. Does this combination of ingredients look familiar? Yes, it’s actually a Red Salsa.
Want some heat? Don’t worry. There are two ways to make this soup spicy.
- Add two or three serrano peppers in your food processor to blend with other ingredients. You can always leave the seeds in.
- Drizzle a few drops of a serious hot sauce in your soup after dished.
At this point, all that left is to cook some vegetables to add into your boiled soup base. Finishing it up by topping with avocados, crushed tortilla chips, and lots of cheese, of course! Oh man! This soup is full of flavor and good stuff! Give it a try. I believe that you will happily make it as a regular on your dining table!
On a side note, if something can get you excited every morning when you wake up, even if you have been doing the same thing for months or years, you have found what you truly love doing, my friend! Don’t let it go. You will make a difference by following your passion!
What have you been excited about lately? I would love to hear from you!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Category: Soups
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 cups shredded chicken (Skip it if you are vegetarian. The soup is still going to be great without chicken!)
- 2 cups zucchini, diced
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted (about 0.5 oz)
- 1/8 teaspoon Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce (optional)
For the soup base:
- 10 Roma tomatoes, roasted
- 1/2 cup white onion, roughly sliced
- 1 cup cilantro, firmly packed
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- salt to taste
For the topping:
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 avocados, sliced and divided
- 2 cups tortilla chips, crushed and divided
- fresh lime juice
- cilantro for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Roast Roma tomatoes for 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, chop up vegetables.
- When tomatoes are done. Allow cool. Quarter each one and place into your food processor or blender with garlic, roughly sliced onion, cilantro. Add chicken broth and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. (Depending on the size of your blender, you might need to process two or three batches to finish up the ingredients. It took me twice with my 8-cup food processor.)
- Pour soup base into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- In a sauté pan, melt butter and sauté diced onion over high heat until fragrant. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini dices into the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Transfer cooked vegetables into the soup base. Add sweet peas and bring to a boil again. Stir in shredded chicken. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste and adjust the flavor by adding more salt if desire.
- Drop in hot sauce. Stir until even. This is optional.
- Dish. Top with tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheddar cheese, cilantro for each serving. Squeeze a dash of fresh lime juice. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 4-6