Tomatillo-Tortilla Soup

From Jason and Danielle Bitner

[Ed: This just in from Brooklyn. I don’t seem to have a photo of the soup, but here’s a cute one of the cooks. Thanks, Bitners! Says Danielle, “Making your own stock makes your soup sooooo much better. For this tortilla/tomatillo soup, I like to use chicken stock. This is super simple to put together and just requires some time for simmering. If you can do this step separately — like a day before or even earlier and freeze it, the main soup will come together really fast.”]

Ingredients: Stock (From an Alton Brown recipe.)

4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs. If you don’t have carcasses just buy a pack of legs and thighs. I also like to buy a back of bone-in breasts and use the meat for the soup.
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2
4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2
1 leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise
10 sprigs fresh thyme (a few teaspoons of dry is fine too)
10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
2 bay leaves
8 to 10 peppercorns
2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 gallons cold water

Preparation

You need a BIG pot….Best to use a tall pot with a colander insert. Put all your ingredients in the colander part so that when it’s time to strain your broth, all the little bits are easy to remove.

Put all this stuff together, add water and simmer for 2-4 hours. Don’t let it come to a rolling boil or you’ll get lots of yucky muck. Also, if you do put chicken breasts in the stock, make sure to take them out after they’ve been simmering for 30-40 minutes. Make sure they’re cooked through then remove all the meat and shred. Reserve for later. Put the breast bones back in the stock pot and let it keep cooking.

Ingredients: Soup

5-6 medium tomatillos, chopped
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes (red), chopped
1 onion, yellow or white, chopped
1 bunch cilantro (chopped, half bunch reserved for topping soup)
1 tablespoon cumin (or to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika (or to taste)
2 limes, juiced
1 pack tortillas (you will use probably 8-10 total)
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag tortilla chips (condiment for crunching on top of soup – OR make your own tasty chips with the remaining tortillas from the pack you bought)
salt/pepper
avocado, enough to allow for 1/4 avocado per serving)

Preparation

In 8 cups of broth, add tomatillos and tomatoes, onion, cumin, paprika, and half the cilantro. Let cook for approximately 20-30 minutes. Blend with immersion blender.

Add half the lime juice and 10-12 tortillas, roughly chopped up. Let simmer until the tortillas fall apart. make sure to stir occasionally, so tortillas don’t stick to bottom of pot. Add frozen corn (or fresh!). Add reserved chicken (if you used it for your stock). Salt to taste.

Let simmer for another 10-15 minutes so flavors combine.

Serve with avocado and fresh cilantro. Use chips as garnish. I like to have a bowl of them at the table and use kind of like you would saltines in tomato soup – add as you go. You can also put a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche on your soup if you want to be decadent.

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