Chicken Tortilla Soup! By Nikki

it smells so good when cooking...

it smells so good when cooking…

When I was in university, I would often meet my mother on a Sunday afternoon at the club. Yes, we are the type of people who belonged to the local sports club which is just a fancy way of saying we belonged to the nice gym in our town! Mama and I would strap on our goggles, put on our swim caps and get into the pool in the unflattering, uncomfortable speedo swim suit! We would then swim laps side-by-side for 30-60 minutes. After a dip in the jacuzzi to relax our muscles, we would shower and meet in the cafe for a bowl of hot, chicken tortilla soup. The workout always felt great but the soup was the best part of these swimming sessions… and just as healthy for our bodies!

Since my days at the club, I have taken up other sports such as cycling on weekends and floorball on Friday afternoon. I have also continued my love of running! There is nothing like hitting the pavement and letting all the worries and business of life take a back seat for an hour. It is my therapy! And of course, I still love chicken tortilla soup. This soup takes preparation so for me, it has become a weekend soup. But rest assured, that is does reheat well during the week.

So here we go…

Chicken Tortilla soup

so yummy

Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you don’t already know this about me, I prefer to make my own chicken stock. This adds an extra step to my soup preparation. You don’t have to do this, as you can make your chicken tortilla soup with your preferred, already prepared stock. (In Prague, Marks & Spencer sells liquid chicken stock!)  Use enough stock to fill a large soup pot 1/2 full.

roast a chicken, boil the bones for 2 hours with chopped onion, celery, carrot and dried sage, salt and pepper

homemade stock: roast a chicken, boil the bones for 2 hours on medium heat with 1 onion, 2 celery stalks , 1-2 carrots all chopped, dried sage, salt and pepper, then strain and use the stock for your favorite soup

I like this soup to have a slightly spicy, kick so I add jalapeno to the broth while it is coming to a boil. (Prague people, I use the Albert brand that comes in a jar, but you can also get fresh jalapeno at Tesco.) I prefer to use fresh kernels of corn, that I cut off the corn cob. After summer is over corn season is over as well. So in the winter months, I use a small jar of corn from my local bio store. My local potraviny is usually reliable for stocking fresh herbs all year round. This is important because fresh coriander (cilantro) is very necessary for the flavor combinations in this soup. Dice up two or three fresh tomatoes and you are set!

fresh koriander and tomatoes meet jalapenos

fresh coriander and tomatoes and diced jalapenos

As for the chicken, well you either have to boil or bake 2 breasts, shred when cooked and toss into your soup OR like I said earlier, roast a chicken one evening and before you boil the bones for stock, pick off the extra chicken meat and save for your soup.

Let's make soup!

Let’s make soup!

Once you have all the ingredients ready, throw it all in the soup pot and heat on low for 20-30 minutes.  Let the flavors simmer and make your home smell lovely. When you are ready to eat, cut a flour (or corn!) tortilla into strips and plop them into your bowl or cup of soup… Enjoy!

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