Recipe of the Week: Dorina's Tortilla Soup

Something about fall makes me start craving hearty soups and stews. This is my version of a corn tortilla soup that's been a favorite of our family through the years. We've passed on the recipe to many other families and it seems to be a universal fave. This tortilla soup is a thicker pureed version compared to what a lot of restaurants serve.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 organic boneless chicken breasts,
1/2 jalapeno, minced (1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
6 organic corn tortillas (7”)
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups fresh sweet corn (or 2 - 16 oz. cans of organic white corn or 1 package frozen organic sweet corn)
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped (or 1 - 28 oz. can chopped organic tomatoes)
1/3 cup organic tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
2 cups water
1 quart organic chicken stock

Sour cream
Blue corn tortilla chips or 5 corn tortillas cut in strips
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large Dutch oven-type pot. Cut chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with minced jalapeno or crushed red pepper. Sauté in in pot.
2. Chop onion. Add to pot and sauté until onions are translucent.
3. Meanwhile, add three tablespoons oil to a large frying pan. Cut tortillas into one-inch strips. Brown tortilla strips in pan. (Reserve half the strips on a plate for garnish if desired.) Add other half of tortilla strips to the soup pot.
4. Add garlic and jalapenos/red pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) to soup pot. Add two cups corn and 5 chopped tomatoes to pot. Mix.
5. Add spices: cumin, salt, black pepper and chili pepper. Add tomato paste.
6. Finally, add 2 cups water and 1 quart chicken stock. Stir ingredients together well.
7. Bring soup to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (or transferring to regular blender) and puree the soup. (You can skip this step if you prefer a chunky soup.)
8. Allow soup to continue cooking at a low heat for 10 minutes. Continue to puree until large chunks of chicken and tomatoes are blended into the soup.
9. At this point, you can decide about the consistency. If you like a thicker soup, leave as is and allow to cook longer. If you want to thin out the soup add 1/2 cup water until you are satisfied with the consistency.
10. Add two remaining cups of corn to pot and serve.
11. Put garnishes in separate bowls. Allow your guest or family to add garnish their soup themselves for fun or you can do it and wow them with the presentation.

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