A family favorite, this chicken tortilla soup gets extra flavor from toasting and hand-grinding the spices. An array of garnishes make it fun to eat. If you don't eat the whole pot it freezes perfectly.
- 1.5 oz whole cumin seed (about ¾ bottle)
- .4 oz whole coriander seeds (about ½ bottle)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 3-4 jalapeño peppers, seeded
- 3-4 yellow onions, peeled and cut in quarters
- 12 plum tomatos, trimmed and cut in half
- 1 t sea salt
- 4 49-oz cans of chicken stock
- 3-4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 5 red and yellow roast bell peppers or 2 jars of roasted peppers drained and cut into ½-3/4
- 8-10 small zucchini, washed and trimmed
- 8 ears of corn, husked and kernels removed
- .1 oz dried oregano ( about ¼ bottle)
- Cooked rice (optional)
- Diced avocado
- Cilantro, roughly chopped
- Shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Tortilla chips
- Lots of lime wedge
- 1Toast your cumin and coriander seeds in your soup pot for a few minutes, stirring frequently and taking care not to burn. Remove the seeds and grind in a molcajete, mortar or electric spice grinder.
- 2Pulse garlic and jalapeño in food processor, using the basic chopping blade until finely chopped. Add onions and continue pulsing until coarsely chopped. Do not over-pulse or you will get onion juice.
- 3Heat your soup pot, add a generous pour of olive oil to the bottom of the pan, heat and add garlic/jalapeño/onion mixture. Cook about 7 minutes on medium-high, stirring and taking care not to burn. Add crushed coriander and cumin seeds. Stir and cook another 3 minutes.
- 4Put tomato halves in food processor and pulse briefly using the chopping blade. Add tomatoes and sea salt to onion mixture. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 5Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add whole chicken thighs and turn down heat to medium-low. Cook about 15 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender. Do not overcook or chicken will be tough. Scoop chicken from pot and let cool in a bowl while you continue adding ingredients to the soup. Once cool, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- 6Add zucchini and chopped roast peppers, simmer about 15 minutes, until the zucchini becomes tender. It will change from opaque to a little translucent. Add shredded chicken, corn kernels and oregano and cook another 5 minutes.
- 7Ladle up soup and offer bowls of garnish -- diced avocado, cilantro, cheese, tortilla chips and lime wedges. Optional: add a scoop of rice to each blow before garnishing.