Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick and Easy #5

I'm going to introduce you to one of Adam's favorite meals: the Chicken, Tortilla, and Black Bean Soup.

Don't you love those meals that you can cook without even glancing at the recipe? This is definitely one of them because I've made it so often. I originally got it from a Bon Appetit magazine, but the recipe was kind of vague and hard to understand, and I've made some modifications, so you get the perfected version!

Time: 45 minutes ( that includes 15 minutes of simmering time)
Serves: 6

  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into big chunks
  • Olive oil
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 c. cooked, shredded chicken (Rotisserie chicken from Costco is my fave)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 avocados (Depending on how much you like avocados. We loooove them so I put half an avocado into each of our bowls)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges
  • Crumbled queso fresco 

  1. Fill a small pot with water and add the ancho chilies. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let chilies simmer for about 5-10 minutes until chilies are softened. Turn off the heat. Use a pair of tongs to pull the stems out of the tops of the chilies. Use the tongs to swirl the chilies in the pot of water so all the seeds wash out. Let chilies sit in the water until you're ready to use them for their next step.
  2. While the chilies are simmering, shred the chicken. 2-3 cups is an estimate; I usually just use half of a rotisserie chicken and call it good. 
  3. In a food processor (if you don't have a food processor a blender might work), puree the seeded, soaked ancho chilies, tomato, onion, and garlic until very smooth. The smoother the better.
  4. In a large soup pot, drizzle some olive oil and heat up the pot. Pour in the puree and cook it over medium heat for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir frequently.
  5. Add 6 cups chicken broth, shredded chicken, and black beans to the pot. Stir well and bring to a soft boil. Softly boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, get your condiments ready. Chop the cilantro, dice the avocados, crumble the cheese, crumble the chips, and cut the limes. 
  7. When the soup is ready, dish into bowls and garnish with cilantro, avocado, queso fresco, chips, and lime juice. YUM!!! 

You can do variations on the chicken. You don't have to use a rotisserie, but that's what's easy for me. I have a Costco close by, and a huge chicken is only five bucks, and it gives me leftover chicken for another recipe later in the week. If you have some chicken thighs in the freezer, just defrost them and throw them in with the chicken broth and simmer them in the soup until they're cooked through. Then take them out, shred the meat off the bones, and put the shredded meat back into the soup. You could do the same thing with breast meat. 

I didn't know what ancho chilies were when I first found this recipe, but I was sure that my local Vallarta would carry them so I looked them up online to see what they looked like before I went grocery shopping. To save you a search online, here they are:

They were easy to find once I knew what they were, and they're cheap! You get four chilies for $1.49, so that's enough for two pots of soup!

As always, if you try the soup, let me know what you think!!


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