Chicken Tortilla Soup
I first tasted this delicious soup in Georgetown, Texas, while visiting my cousins. It is, to me, a perfect soup – chewy from all the vegetables, tangy from the lime, creamy from the cheese, filling and comforting that needy stomach-hole with shredded chicken, and crunchy from the tortilla chips. This soup would go well with a salad or perhaps quesadillas. My cousins consider this soup to be Tex-Mex, but it is originally a Mexican soup that is easily found in Mexico City. The simplified cooking process and a few ingredients more readily available in the United States transform this dish into something Tex-Mex.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 -2 jalapeños diced and seeded, or 1/8 tsp. chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (the kind you use for chili con carne)
- 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 14.5 oz can black beans rinsed & drained
- 1 cup frozen or canned corn, drained if canned
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cup grated cheese, such as cheddar or colby jack
Crispy Tortilla Strips
- 6 6- inch corn tortillas cut into 1/4-inch strips. If you can’t get them, use corn tortilla chips, broken up, and omit the olive oil and salt.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat a small pan. Add tortilla strips in small batches and fry until crisp. Drain and salt.
- Heat olive oil In a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeños and cook until onion is softened.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and shred. Add back to the pot and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Spoon soup into bowls and and top with tortilla strips, lime wedges, grated cheese and sliced avocado.
Bibimbap is a Korean word made from two Korean words – bibida, a Korean verb for stir frying, and bap, the word for cooked rice. Bibimbap actually means “thoroughly stirred rice”. You only stir it up when you’re ready to eat it.
Sauce (serves 4):
2 Tablespoons Gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
Whisk all the ingredients together.
Vegetables, rice and eggs:
You can use any vegetables you like. These are the ones I usually use. You can also add strips of meat, like beef, for instance. Then you would have beef bulgogi bibimbap!
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 onion, sliced
5 mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, cut into julienne strips
1 egg per person
dried crumbled seaweed to garnish
2-1/2 cups of sushi rice, steamed or boiled in about 3-1/4 cups of water
Fry each vegetable separately in about one teaspoon of oil. You can add a little salt to draw out the water in the vegetables. Store each one when it is al dente separately. When all the vegetables are cooked, fry the eggs sunny side up in a little oil. While the eggs are frying, you can assemble the bibimbap. In one bowl per person, stir some fluffed up rice into the bottom. Add each vegetable separately, creating little sections. Sprinkle a little seaweed on top. Put the egg on top. Serve with the sauce.
Vegetable Porridge (Yachae Jook)
Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Water – 2 cups
Carrot – small piece, pointer-finger long
Zucchini – small piece pointer-finger long
Onion – 1/2 of a medium-sized onion
Shitake or any other mushroom – 2 whole mushrooms
Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons
Vegetable oil -1 Tablespoon
Minced garlic – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Dried seaweed – about 1 sheet crumbled up as garnish
Sesame seeds – a few shakes as garnish
Chop the carrot, zucchini and onion into very small pieces. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces.
Take out a large pot. Put it on medium heat. Pour in 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil and fry the chopped onions and carrots. Mix until the onions are soft and transparent. Add the chopped garlic. Now add the cooked white rice. Stir it and mix it evenly. Pour in 1 cup of water and stir. Keep stirring until most of the water has evaporated. Add another cup of water. Add the zucchini and mushroom pieces. Season with salt. Keep stirring, and add water as needed until you have a soupy consistency. All in all, it should cook for about 1/2 hour.
Scoop the porridge into a bowl and garnish with a little sesame oil, the seaweed and sesame seeds.