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Chicken Tortilla Soup (Gluten-Free)


The finished chicken tortilla soup. Photo: CC-savemejeebus

When I was in Guanajuato, Mexico, years back, the woman who cooked at the house where I was a guest prepared the most delicious chicken tortilla soup.

Pieces of juicy chicken, corn, hominy and, of course, tortillas, came together in a creamy, rich, tomatoey, cumin-laced broth. The soup was so good, I remember going back for seconds and more. I found myself counting the days until she would make it again. So began my love affair with this satisfying Mexican delicacy.

Later, I was please to find a Yucatan-style Mexican restaurant in my San Francisco neighborhood that could satisfy my regular cravings. Sadly, the restaurant is no more. But, my cravings for tortilla soup endure. Thus began my quest for a good, easy, reliable recipe that I could turn to when my chicken tortilla soup craving struck next.

This recipe makes enough to serve eight to ten people.

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Ingredients:
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 ounce)
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1-2 cans whole pinto or white beans, drained, pureed (optional)
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice from 3 limes
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces broken tortilla chips (high quality, home made-style)
1 avocado, sliced
4 green onions, chopped fine
½ cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
Lime wedges

Directions:
Add oil to a large soup pot, and heat to medium. Add onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, cilantro, bean puree, and chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. For thicker soup, add more bean puree, for thinner soup, add less or none at all.  I've made it both ways, and prefer the thicker, creamier version with beans, but the choice is yours. You can wait until the soup is done to add try a bit with and without bean puree, and decide then. Just make sure the bean puree cooks into the soup a bit.

Allow soup to cool slightly, and serve individual bowls. Top with broken tortilla chips, avocado slices, crumbled cheese, and chopped green onion. Serve lime wedges on the side.

This soup goes great with your favorite gluten-free beer.

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6 Responses:

 
Jamie
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
said this on
29 Nov 2010 9:38:59 AM PDT
Sounds great, but is two breast halves enough for 8-10 people?

 
Melody
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said this on
29 Nov 2010 5:11:25 PM PDT
I prefer to shred the chicken so it does go along way and it's not a big bite in soup.

 
lonna swearingen
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said this on
29 Nov 2010 6:41:01 PM PDT
I can"t wait to try this soup.

 
jenny
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said this on
08 Jan 2012 12:34:45 PM PDT
I made this last year for a mom who has celiac. She had just had a baby and I wanted to take her something filling. I made a double batch for her family and ours. It was awesome. I have craved it ever since and now it is finally getting cooler. I can't wait to make this again.

 
Martha
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said this on
09 Jul 2012 12:12:04 PM PDT
Where do you put the lime juice in the list of ingredients?

 
Jenn
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said this on
27 Nov 2012 9:09:43 PM PDT
Great soup. I omitted the beans and hominy (didn't have), put the onions in the blender (for the kids), and sautéed with garlic and spices. I then put all the ingredients in the crockpot with raw chicken breast, and it cooked up great. I added extra corn at the end when I shredded the chicken. Great with cilantro, lime, sour cream, cheese and chips in the bowl. Will make it again.




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