My last few months have been a real whirlwind. Amidst all the craziness, I have truly missed sharing my favorite new (and old) recipes. I have indulged in, and experimented with several new recipes. Unfortunately, I just haven’t gotten down to documenting them the way I had been over the past few years. With this recipe I hope to shed off my writers’ block and return to something I truly love.
My annual trip back to the US (my second home and adopted Nationality) always results in us devouring Mexican and Tex-Mex food. This is one cuisine where the scarcity of authentic ingredients has led to a very pale, Indianized take on a rather robust cuisine. I find this really hard to fathom as most Indians love eating Mexican food when they travel abroad, and would truly embrace good Mexican food back home! Till someone opens a really good Mexican restaurant here, your best bet is to cook it at home!
The rainy weather coupled with post US trip withdrawal symptoms of Mexican food have lead to my latest addiction – Mexican Chicken Soup. This Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe is as fragrant as a classic Mexican Tortilla Soup without the fuss of importing all the ingredients. Taco seasoning and tortilla chips are now easily available in India and they add the perfect authenticity to this soup. The cumin, taco seasoning, jalapenos and paprika ensure the aromas of a Mexican Cantina waft through your kitchen while the soup is simmering. The crushed tortilla chips add a contrasting texture to every bite of the soup. This play on textures, spices and temperatures create a real party for your palate.
The next time it’s raining outside or you just need a soup that’s heart and belly-warming, look no further than this Mexican fiesta in a bowl!
Mexican Chicken Soup
Recipe adapted from All Recipes: Mexican Chicken Soup
Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings
½ kg (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
½ cup red onion, diced
½ cup celery stalks, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon paprika powder (optional)
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
Salt to taste
1 cup tomato, diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
½ cup cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese, shredded
½ an avocado, diced or sliced (optional)
1 cup of tortilla chips, crushed (See Note)
1 lemon, seeded and quartered
- If you cannot get your hands on store bought taco seasoning, you can easily make it at home. Here is a good recipe for it: http://www.foodrenegade.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/
- Traditionally you cut strips of store bought tortillas and fry them up to create the tortilla chips. As ready to eat tortilla chips are more easily available in India (and cheaper) than store bought tortillas we are taking the easy way out with these crushed tortilla chips.
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C (350 degree F). Lay the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and coat with the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the taco seasoning. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled – shred the chicken.
2) While the chicken is cooking, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick soup pot or Dutch oven. Stir in the onions, celery, jalapeno and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally till the onions are translucent and the celery is starting to soften.
3) Now add the chicken broth along with the taco seasoning, cumin powder, paprika and salt. Bring to a boil and once it reaches a boil lower the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
4) Now add in the tomatoes and cilantro and cook for another 5-8 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
5) Stir in the chicken and simmer everything together for 5 minutes.
6) Remove from the heat and divide into 3 or 4 bowls. Serve warm along with the toppings.