A couple of years ago I went to a Mexican Cantina and ordered their Chicken Tortilla Soup. When the meal arrived, to my surprise, I was served a plate with a bowl that contained rice, beans and chicken in it and a spread of fresh ingredients beside it on the plate including diced tomatoes, avocado slices, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese. The broth was brought in a pitcher and was poured over the ingredients in the bowl at the table-side.
I then topped the soup with the fresh ingredients from the plate. It was so fresh, tasty and fun. I thought it was brilliant! Fresh soup, with fresh ingredients and made to order. I took the idea and thought I would recreate it at home and make DIY Tortilla Soup.
It was a hit. You can spice it up with salsa and peppers, make it meatless, or bean-less, or experiment with your favorite combinations. Subsequently, we have embraced it as a new, crowd-pleasing menu at our table.
And it's Do It Yourself - and there is something novel about that.
the Broth (click to print)
4 cans Chicken Broth
juice of 1/2 lime
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 handful fresh cilantro
Place all ingredients into a large pot.
Let broth simmer for a few minutes on the stove, allowing the flavors to meld.
(You might want to alter the seasoning of this to your liking - add spices, add hot sauce, decrease lime, omit cilantro, etc.)
1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Can water
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle with cumin and salt
Place all ingredients into a small pot.
Heat on the stove.
4 Chicken breasts, cut into medium sized pieces
juice from 1/2 lime
A sprinkle of cumin
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
A pinch of Salt
A dash of Cholula
Place meat in a glass dish and add other ingredients. Toss to coat well.
Grill on stove top grill (or sautee on stove top, or bake in the oven on a baking sheet, or grill on the grill...whatever you choose).
Prepare other toppings:
- Rice (you can make a pot of white or brown rice or one of the mexican rice packages found in the grocery store for more seasoned rice)
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Chips slightly broken (which are conveniently located at the bottom of the bag of chips)
- Salsa (my favorite salsa recipe is HERE)
- Avocado- sliced (I thought I would share with you how I prepare an avocado. It can be intimidating but usually this method works like a charm).
Using a large spoon, insert the spoon as close to the skin as you can and shimmy between the edge of the avocado and the skin.
Repeat the process with the other side.
Place the avocado on the cutting board and slice.
|Using a sharp knife, |
cut a lateral line through
the center, cutting around the
large center pit
|Using a large spoon, |
insert the spoon as close
to the skin as you can
and shimmy between the
edge of the avocado
and the skin,
|Remove the avocado.|
Repeat the process
with the other side
Place the avocado
on the cutting board