The Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery Tortilla Soup

The Blue Corn Cafe & Brewery Tortilla Soup

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

1/2 cup each 1/2" diced vegetables: yellow onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and tomato
1/2 cup roasted green chile, cut into a small
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground comino (cumin)
2 cups Enchilada Chicken, recipe follows
6 each white corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
6 each blue corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Chopped cilantro leaves, as needed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt, as needed
1 cup crushed corn tortilla chips

Begin with a large pot. Saute the vegetables and chile briefly in about 2
tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. When
the vegetables are limp, add the broth and add the garlic and cumin and
bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add chicken, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile (or beforehand), fry the corn tortilla strips in 350 degree F oil
for 2 minutes until crispy. Drain well on paper towels. At the Blue Corn
Cafe, we always have tons of chips around so we used crushed ones for
garnish on the bottom of the soup bowl…the strips are added at the top.
We, of course, use white and blue corn tortillas. If for some reason the
blue variety are not available where you live, Yes, you can use all white
or yellow tortillas.

To finish the soup, you’ve got to make some slurry. Yep…this will add just
a little body to the soup. With the cornstarch in a cup-sized container, mix
as little cold water as possible to form a thin paste. This stuff feels and
looks like…well, slurry. Bring the soup back up to a boil; stir with 1
hand and pour the slurry in slowly with the other. Continue to cook on high
heat for a minute, then reduce to low. The soup will look cloudy at first
but will clear up and thicken slightly. Remove from heat.

Add cilantro and lime juice. Fill 8 to 12 cups or bowls about 1/4 full of
crushed tortilla chips. Ladle soup on top. Place a handful of strips on top
of each and serve. This soup (without the tortillas)

Keeps well for 3 to 4 days refrigerated. Tortillas will also keep well for a
few days if sealed well and stored at room temperature. In moist climates
they may require re-crisping in a 350 degree F oven for a few minutes.

Enchilada Chicken:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breast, leg, or thigh)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup medium-dice green bell peppers
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons white pepper

4 cups (1 quart) water

This “machaca” style cooked meat is very versatile: use in tacos,
enchiladas, soup, nachos, burritos, etc. Basically a process of braising,
the meat and all ingredients are put together in a large pot and brought
slowly to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you
desire, you can bake all of this in a covered dish in a 350 degree F. oven
for about 3 hours for the same results. The meat should be tender to the
point where it begins to shred…some of it may require quick chopping. You
may want to reserve the liquid for use in soups, etc. Use the cooked meat in
your dish right away or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Yield: 4 to 8 servings