With soup typically served once a week during the cool months, it is easy to become bored with this dish. However, to reduce repetition, a different family member gets to choose the soup each week. With several different taste preferences, this helps to encourage creativity and new flavors.
This week, our 12 year old was tasked with choosing our soup. He started to fall back upon one of his favorites, corn chowder. However, I have made that soup already this winter and wanted him to think a little more. To help him with his decision, I told him to choose an ingredient that he wanted in the soup. He suggested beans, preferably kidney. I then asked if he wanted a thin or thick soup. He said he wanted something with a broth base.
Taking those two suggestions, I flipped through my mental Rolodex of soups I have eaten, made, or seen. At that point, I soup I never had made but had seen on many menus came to mind: tortilla soup. It seemed like a simple soup with minimal preparation or ingredients needed. My soup chooser liked this idea, even with 2 changes. 1. I would use black beans instead of kidney. 2. I would add some canned tomatoes to the broth to give it more of a Mexican feel. He thought these two changes would be fine.
When making this soup I decided it was more of a Mexican Soup than a tortilla soup, as we used the tortilla strips as a garnish and not as a prime ingredient. Everyone enjoyed this slightly spicy soup, which now can be categorized as a “has been made” soup in my Rolodex.
- 4 corn tortillas
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 3/4 tsp. cumin*
- 2 tsp. chili powder*
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning*
- 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro*
- 1 pound chicken, cut into cubes
- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-1/2 cup frozen corn
- 8 oz. can diced tomatoes
- Slice tortillas into thin 2-inch strips.
- Heat a small nonstick frying pan, and cook strips in small batches until crispy. Set aside.
- Place a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, and add broth, cumin, chili powder, Italian seasoning, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, and add chicken, beans, corn, and tomatoes.
- Reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Ladle soup into individual mugs or bowls. Garnish with tortilla strips.
- *Taste soup, and add more seasoning, if desired.