Sunday, October 8, 2017

Mexican Hominy & Bean Tortilla Soup: A Variation on an Ina Garten Recipe for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This week we started cooking with Ina Garten as the featured chef for the next six months at I Heart Cooking Clubs. I generally make a soup from our new featured chef to welcome them and also I figure that if a chef makes a great soup, we are going to get along just fine. The difference with Ina is that early in my blogging days, back in 2008 & 2009, I cooked a bunch of Ina's recipes with a group called the Barefoot Bloggers. So I made about 45 of her recipes from her books at that time, including the original Mexican Chicken Soup that I am adapting and welcoming her with today. 

Why the repeat?  Well the first reason is because I was craving tortilla soup and the second reason is that back in those days I ate meat and poultry, which I not longer do. I thought it would be fun to make a vegetarian version of it with hominy and pinto beans subbing in for the chicken--and since we are going on nine years ago that I first made and posted the soup, I think it's due for another go-round! (And if like me, in your early days of blogging you took really bad photos, it's always nice to have a second chance.)

The changes I made to the soup--omitting the chicken and adding in my substitutions are in red below. I also did not add corn tortillas to the soup--I know it is more traditional that way but I have tried it and don't love the thicker texture, preferring frying up thin strips and using them for topping instead. I did want an avocado for this soup but could not find a decent one at the grocery store and forgot the cilantro as well. Whoops! I compensated with some chopped parsley for a touch of color.

Mexican Hominy & Bean Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten
(Serves 6 to 8)

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (I omitted) 
good olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used homemade garlic broth)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed (I chopped mine a bit but left some big pieces)
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used 2 large)

(I added one (    ) can white hominy, rinsed well and drained)
(I added i (15 oz) can pinto beans)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional (I forgot to buy and left out, adding 1 Tbsp dried oregano instead)
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas (see notes below)

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. (I used fried tortilla strips, chopped flat leaf parsley and feta cheese)

For Chicken if using: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside. 

Meanwhile, heat 3 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

Add the stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. (I added the hominy and pinto beans and some dried oregano here.) Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. (I left the tortilla strips out and instead fried them up for topping.)

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. 

Serve the soup hot topped with your favorite toppings.

Notes/Results: This is a great soup, just as tasty as the chicken version and it totally solved my tortilla soup craving. It has a nice heat (I used 2 large jalapenos) so the spice was there without being overpowering. The hominy (I actually added to my 2008 version too) adds such a great chewiness--along with the beans it makes the soup satisfying and I think you wouldn't miss the chicken meat (but maybe that's just me!) ;-) You could leave off the cheese or pick a vegan cheese for a vegan version. I would happily make this soup again.

This week at IHCC we are saying "Hi Ina!" so I am linking up this soup post there. You can see what the other participants made to welcome Ina by checking out the picture links on the post.

We have some fantastic dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Debra of Eliot's Eats shared her unusual Pineapple-Smoked Baloney Sandwich, inspired by the 2016 Ghostbusters for Food 'n Flix saying, "...I could not get Patty’s comment about the aroma of the subway out of my mind: “It smells like burnt baloney and regrets down here.” I just kept laughing. I had to do something with baloney. We didn’t burn our baloney, but we did smoke it. ... We grilled the pineapple slices and made some pretty delicious sandwiches."

A warm welcome to Linda from The Crafty Gardner who joins us at Souper Sundays for the first time this week and shared Parsnip and Apple Soup, Linda said, "Parsnips aren’t everyone’s choice for a vegetable, but you have to be open minded and give them a try. Maybe it is an acquired taste.  Maybe it’s a British taste. ... It was delicious with some flax and quinoa bread and some chunks of cheese."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with Peri Peri Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Couscous Salad and says it "is studded with nutty chickpeas and garnished with baby kale that tasted more like rocket than kale.  Its not much of a recipe, I coated the cauliflower in a little olive oil and doused it with Peri Peri spice blend and then put it in the oven to roast. You can make your own Peri Peri Spice Mix or buy it.  The couscous was made according to the packet instructions and then combined together along with a tin of cooked chickpeas."

Finally here at Kahakai Kitchen, I took the apple jam I made last week and succumbed to putting it into a grilled cheese sandwich with American cheese (for the melty factor) and Muenster. It was so delicious. I have had this yummy Grilled Cheese and Apple Jam Sandwich twice more since posting it and I am going to need to make more of the Caramel-Apple Jam so I can have it again. 

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Love, love, love that you used hominy in this soup! It's one of my favorites!

  2. I was giggling when you mentioned about bad photos during the early days of blogging! How very true for me!
    Your soup looks full of flavours with all the changes you've made. I can see why you did not miss the chicken one bit!

  3. What I like best reading the posts are the adaptations you've made to fit your dietary needs. Healthy changes indeed!

  4. I am looking forward to soup season. It is still a little too hot in California for me for soup yet but soon Fall is coming. I like all the additions you made to this soup.

  5. Hi Deb, thanks for the shout out in your post this week. I'm joining again with some turkey recipes. I do cook a couple of version of soups as we have vegetarians in our family too. This week's one isn't vegetarian though. The weather is chilling down here in Ontario, Canada so soup is always looked forward to.

  6. I have never had hominy and I would love to try it someday. The soup totally appeals to me. Joining in again this week with a salad.


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