"And as he leaned there, his heart pounding, his paws shaking, a small wonderful something occurred. A midnight breeze entered the kitchen and danced over to the stove and picked up the scent of the soup and then swirled across the floor and delivered the smell right directly to the mouse's nose.
Desereaux put his head up in the air. He sniffed. He sniffed some more. He had never in his life smelled anything so lovely, so inspiring. With each sniff he took, he felt himself growing stronger, braver."
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
One of the only things I like about winter is that it is the season for making soup. I love soup. Soup can warm you when you are cold, help you feel better when you are sick, and provide dinner when your budget is tight. This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. You make think that it makes too much, but trust me, you will go through more of it than you think, and it is just as good, if not better on the second day.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/2 lb bell pepper - I use red
1 1/4 lb yellow onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
11 oz corn tortillas
1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
Salt to taste
1/2 Tbsp black pepper
1 1/2 gallon + 1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chicken base
4 1/2 cups cooked chicken
Place onions and bell peppers in food processor and finely chop. Remove and set aside. Add garlc and finely chop. Heat olive oil in skillet, add minced vegetables and stir often. Saute until vegetables are transparent and slightly brown.
Add butter and allow it to melt.
While vegetables are sauteing, tear tortillas into large peieces and put into food processor. Chop until fine.
Add flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Process until very fine - the consistency of corn meal. If not the soup will be too thick.
Add tortilla meal to sauteed vegetales and mix together to form a roux. cook 4-5 mintues, constantly scraping sides and bottom of pan.
Add chicken base to chicken stock, and stir to blend. Slowly whip the stock into roux, one quart at a time, scraping bottom and sides of the pan.
When all of the stock is added, add chicken and cilantro. Bring to a slow simmer for 5 minutes (do not let soup come to a hard boil). Turn off heat and cool. Garnish with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or cheese.