Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mexican Chicken Soup--Barefoot Bloggers

Our final November Barefoot Blogger's recipe comes from Judy of Judy's Gross Eats and is Ina's Mexican Chicken Soup.  The recipe can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on page 34 and is also at The Food Network site here.  I am a big soup fan and was excited to try Ina's version of this classic soup.

Mexican Chicken Soup
Barefoot Contessa at Home, Ina Garten

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
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
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

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 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 chicken 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. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. 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 sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.  Yields: 6-8 servings

Notes/Results:  I pretty much made the soup as is, with the optional cilantro and a can of white hominy I had in my cupboard that was begging to be used, being the only changes or additions made.   This recipe makes a TON of soup and a smarter person would have halved the recipe.  Instead I took it to co-workers in disposable containers (which incidentally does a lot for your popularity!).  The flavors were very good in the soup.  I could have maybe added another 1/2 a jalapeno or so (I used 1 & 1/2) and I found it also benefited from a squeeze of lime before serving to brighten up the flavors.  I do highly recommend adding the hominy Ina, it adds another dimension to the texture of the soup.  I served mine with some crumbled cotija cheese (think Mexican feta) and avocado.  I would make this again but I think the next time I would leave out the tortilla strips and just fry up the tortillas and serve them on top.  I think its a texture thing with me, I know they are meant to thicken the soup but I found them to be a bit too "mushy" when cooked in it and could have happily enjoyed this delicious recipe without them.  

Great pick Judy--I really liked the lighter, healthier feel of this recipe (says the girl who picked the risotto cakes!).  Check out the other Barefoot Bloggers soups here and also consider joining the group for the December recipe picks.  Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

If you love spending time with Ina on Thursdays
and want to hang out with Tyler Florence on Fridays,
join us for TFF--Tyler Florence Fridays.
You pick your favorite Tyler recipes to cook and post each week--starting this week.
Get the details at the TFF site here.


  1. We really loved this too - definitely one I will make again. Happy thanksgiving to you too.

  2. I've been on a Mexican kick lately, this sounds delicious :)

  3. I really need to make this - thanks for the tips about the chips - hey, that rhymed!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Looks great! Love the avocado.
    I agree about the tortilla, next time I would just put the toasted ones on top or maybe the chips.
    I have an avocado for tonight's serving of the soup - I didn't want to open it up last night for the picture as I was alone! Avocados are like gold here.

  5. I love Mexican soups - especially with crispy tortilla strips on top (I'm totally there with you!). Just stopped over to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

  6. Your soup looks great with the avocado on top! And I agree, this recipe made a ton, like the rest of Ina's recipes. Enjoy!

  7. Deb, your soup looks amazing! I must be on the look out for cojita cheese, I've never had it, but the description of 'Mexican feta' sounds delicious. I thought I wouldn't like the tortillas in the soup either but I couldn't really tell they were in there. When I first read through the recipe I was thinking to myself, shouldn't they be fried and served on top? Would having them on top and in the soup be too much of an indulgence? :) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. I love your lime and hominy additions! And I also enjoyed the healthier feel of this soup. Yours looks great - hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

  9. This was so good! The avocado was definitely a nice touch!

  10. I really enjoyed this soup as well. Yes I do have leftovers but Lisa suggested adding corn and black beans which will be todays addition:D

  11. Oooh, I am glad to know I didn't miss much by leaving the tortillas out of the soup. This is beautiful! I agree, I don't know how the portion sizes are calculated, but even the halved recipe made a ton of food!

  12. Looks delicious. The hominy is an interesting addition, bet is was great. Your co-workers must love you!

  13. Yum! I have something like this at a Mexican restaurant I have lunch at sometimes and I just love it! Yours looks so appetising.


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