Last time, well the only time, we ate tortilla soup, it was just awful. It tasted like a meal of vegetable-stuffed tortillas had been boiled in water for a few days. With a shovel-load of jalapenos added, the soup was like liquid firewater with soggy chunks of flour tortilla drowning in the acidic heat. Suffice to say, neither of us were particularly looking forward to having Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime for dinner, and we may have been planning on getting Chinese takeaway for a second dinner.
You can probably guess where this is going; this soup was actually excellent, a highly unexpected and welcome surprise. The recipe is really easy, although the hot sauce and lime juice were listed in the ingredients list but not mentioned in the written instructions. It wasn’t particularly difficult to guess when to add the extra ingredients, but presumably it could be a little problematic if you weren’t paying attention. Essentially, chicken tenders, green pepper, onion, garlic, celery and a jalapeno pepper were fried in olive oil. Cumin, coriander and salt and pepper were added to season the mixture. A handful of corn tortilla chips were then crushed and added to the soup. I squished ours in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin rather than getting out the food processor, in an attempt to not wake Baby A. She woke up anyway as we banged around in the kitchen trying to be quiet. Chicken stock, hot sauce and lime juice provided the liquid content; the soup was left to simmer for 15 minutes. The soup was served with sour cream, scallions, lime zest and cilantro, to taste.
We had both been really dubious about the lack of tomato in this soup, and particularly about the use of ground tortilla chips. The chips thickened the soup well, giving it texture and bite without being overly grainy. The lime was a very dominant flavour, lending the soup a refreshing zesty quality. The spice level was perfect without being either too mild or too overpowering. The vegetables were tasty and the chicken was very tender. We have noticed the improvement in the texture of the chicken we’ve been eating since we switched to organic poultry.
Tomorrow, we are taking Baby A to her first Easter party. I really wanted to make some Easter Nests but I can’t find any of the mini eggs left in the shops. It never occurred to me that other people might buy Easter candy at Easter. We’ll do a quick scout around town tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll make them if they can only be filled with M & M’s. When we get back from the party we’ll be making Ham and Cheese-Stuffed Pork Chops with Lot-o’-Mushrooms Sauce. The pork chops are supposed to be stuffed with two slices of ham wrapped around a half inch thick slab of cheese. That is certainly a lot-o’ protein.