August 10, 2009

Mexican Chicken Soup

overview before i dig in

There’s seriously something wrong with me to think it’s OK to make soup in this heat…but I couldn’t resist!

It was sooo worth battling the heat over!

It all started a few weeks ago, when my mom gave me a bit of her leftovers. I WAS HOOKED. It’s one of the latest recipes she tried from her beloved Ina! I’m extremely grateful she had leftovers to share! YUM

Here’s what I paired it with:

all the fixins

Oh! and AVOCADOS!!!

hello beautiful bebes

And let’s not forget a nice cold brewski with some lime!

i sooo needed this tonight!

It’s hearty, spicy & sooooo flavorful! It is everything I love about Mexican soup!!! I also happen to think that the chunks of celery & carrots are a nice addition.

Now let’s get you started on making some!

mexican soup ingredients

Making tortilla strips:

tortilla strips

(i took a handful and fried some in a bit of olive oil to make the garnishing strips)

Here’s some shredding chicken action:

shreddin chicken

Mexican Chicken Soup

(recipe Ina Garten)

-4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
-Good olive oil
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
-1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
-2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
-4 large cloves garlic, chopped
-2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
-1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
-2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
-1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, NOT optional
– 6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas


For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

  • Beverly

    This soup’s a 10 on the yum meter! Glad you liked it.

  • sammyw

    looks amazing! i love avocados!

  • Rebecca

    I love, love, love your jam jar mugs!

  • galexiegirl

    Girlie, yes you are INSANE for making soup in this heat…..but oh my lordy it looks soooooooo gooooood!!!
    I’m totally trying it! (when it’s cooler…we don’t have A/C)

  • jenny

    oh, yes. when you said you were making soup yesterday, i was wondering…
    but i would sweat it out too, for this soup. perhaps my favorite kind.
    we call it tortilla soup in our house. it is so good, and so fresh.
    and of course, you totally have to pair it with a cold pacifico with a lime.

  • Sam@BingeNYC

    YUM. Love Ina. Definitely one of the (very, very few) things worth getting heatstroke for! Love your jar mugs too 🙂

  • Tracy

    Thanks! I love drinking out of jars too! My best friend introduced me to that and I’m hooked. It’s especially nice because of the lids!

    Alex- I AM! But sometime a craving is worth it! My leftovers today are smashing…prolly because it’s foggy here in SF!

    Jenny- you got it! I would do anything for this soup!

    Sam- Ina is the best! I want her kitchen & pantry SOOOO bad!

  • Jessica

    I’m a huge fan of Mexican chicken soup and have a recommendation – thinly sliced radishes as an additional garnish. I promise you won’t be disappointed! The crunch and fresh peppery flavor pair well with the spicy broth and soft avocado & cheese.

  • Eggloo

    Wow !! look like its going to be a sumptious meal when i will prepare tbis dish.

  • Deanna

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this -made it lower carb by omitting the tortillas – and it was great! I used leftover grilled chicken thighs and simmered them in the soup. I was not prepared for how MUCH it made. oooh boy! It makes alot! I had to change pots part way through! I think I will start saving my wilted cilantro in a big ice cube for this soup. And this is definitely going in my freezer repertoire!

    • Tracy

      oops! I should have said something…I usually freeze a bunch in containers & take them to work! Leftover love!

  • sheena

    YUM!!! LOVING all your soup posts!!

  • megan

    i have to say, i made this last week and got embarrassing amounts of praise for how little work i did. a few mods:
    i added 2 tiny chipotle bouillon; i imagine a teaspoon of adobo from a can of chipotles would also serve well.
    in the initial run of the soup, i added a big can of hominy and omitted the tortillas. later, when i midwestern-mom stretched it, i added 4 cups of water, 1.5 T chicken stock base, a can of corn (drained), and a can of black beans (rinsed).
    rave, rave reviews!

    • Tracy

      WOW!!! That’s fantastic Megan! Thank you for letting me know. I’m soo stoked that your soup was a hit. Thanks also for the additions. I’m thinking of making some for my Christmas dinner-and might use your chipotle trick!

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  • Laura K

    i’m a little late- but thanks for posting this!!

    So delicious, and a great way to use up all of the carrots and celery that i seem to accumulate, despite best intentions 🙂

  • Laura K

    i’m a little late- but thanks for posting this!!

    So delicious, and a great way to use up all of the carrots and celery that i seem to accumulate, despite best intentions 🙂

  • Rob

    The best way I have found to get the air out of a zip bag is with a soda straw. Insert straw–zip until straw is almost squashed. Suck out air and slide straw out while you finish zipping bag closed.

    Also, a roux made with choice of fat and masa harina adds a nice viscosity.

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