I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for the cliche; a turn in the weather sounds like stew time to me. Lovey hearty soups and stews – I’m dreaming about Luscious Butternut Squash soup (Recipe within a recipe: Saute 6 cups chopped leeks until soft in a deep pot, add pre-roasted peeled garlic cloves from a whole bulb, 4 cups peeled/cubed butternut squash, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage, S&P to taste, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 min or until squash is tender. Blend or mash until desired thickness – be careful, it’s hot! Add 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 & 1/2 or coconut milk, cook until thick. Serve sprinkled with toasted pepitas, croutons, and/or fried sage leaves), and my red bean chili (the secret is pumpkin and chocolate), creamy gourmet mushroom and wild rice soup – and of course, with fresh sourdough bread for us.
I have another yummy recipe somewhere for this soup but this is the one I can find (and since I’m going to make it today…) – I have the remnants of a roast chicken, a half a bag of tortilla chips, and a lone avocado. This recipe was meant to happen. My mom used to make a version with fideo noodles, sazon, and 3 or 4 kinds of meat – it was divine. This Tortilla Sopa’s highlights are the Hatch Green Chilis (accept no substitute, Hatch, NM works hard, as does the rest of the area – during the chili roasting season, the air is a heavenly smoky magic. Unfortunately way over here in Maine we can only get them in tiny cans instead of buying a giant bag to be roasted in the grocery store parking lot. They don’t always add a lot of heat, ergo the extra boost of Ancho or any other spicy pepper powder you might have), and the touch of Lime juice at the end. I can substitute many things but honestly, if I don’t have those 2 things, I don’t make this soup. The soup is ladled over the chips, the cheese added generously on top and stirred in, the Avocado fanned out, and a little Cilantro as garnish. You can make it as hearty as you like by adding more chips or cheese. Lovely and delicious.
RBH Tortilla Sopa
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup diced Onion
- 4 cloves minced Garlic
- 4 diced Plum Tomatoes (or a 15oz can)
- 3-4 Hatch Green Chili (or 3-4 4oz cans, depending on heat preference)
- 4 cups Chicken or Veg Broth (you can whip some up fresh if picking a pre-cooked chicken; just add the ‘picked’ carcass to water, boil until desired richness)
- 2 cups shredded pre-cooked Chicken (or cook up 2 Chicken Breasts/shred)
- 2 tsp Mexican Oregano
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp Chili powder (add extra 1-2 tsp Ancho Chili if heat is desired)
- 1/2 cup diced Cilantro leaves (I put mine in a cup & use scissors to ‘chop’)
- 2 Limes (or 1/4 cup Lime juice)
- Tortilla Chips
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 2-4 sliced Avocado
Saute Onion in a Large pot over medium-low heat until golden, add Garlic and cook another minute. Then add Tomatoes, Green Chili, and Broth. Bring to a simmer, then add Chicken and spices, cook 15-20 minutes to meld flavors. Add Salt & Pepper (and chili) to taste, stir in Cilantro (serving some for garnish, if you like). Squeeze 1 Lime or add 2 Tbsp Lime Juice, to taste, into soup (I then generally serve with more Lime wedges for personal additional Lime).
Crush Tortilla Chips into bowls, ladle soup over chips, 1/8-1/4 cup shredded Jack cheese over top. Lay Avocado slices over the island of cheese, add Cilantro for garnish and serve!