‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Not about to mess with ‘Grama’ Aurora Guerrero’s famous Taquito recipe, I’m celebrating my upbringing in Los Angeles by offering Chicken Tortilla Soup for Cinco de Mayo. I can’t revel in the Olvera Street dancing ladies with ‘yards of fabric’ skirts and fast strumming guitarists. I’ll miss browsing through wide-brimmed sombreros, huarache leather sandals and brightly striped serapes. But I’m not passing up a ‘south of the border’ soup topped with a squeeze of fresh lime, grated cheddar, chopped cilantro, fresh sour cream and diced avocado. Add some crunchy multi-grain tortilla chips and we’re eating with ‘the angels’.
Olvera Street is located in the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles adjacent to Union Station. In 1930 it was converted into a festive Mexican marketplace. While growing up in the ‘burbs’ of greater LA, occasionally Dad and Mom took us to visit Great Aunt Thelma who lived near there. While in the core of the city we always walked down Olvera enjoying the colorful market wares, spirited mariachi music and fragrant food vendors.
On one trip my brother, Sterling, bought a plate of Beef Taquitos from the famous Cielito Lindo’s, operating since 1934. Generously, he shared them with me. I believe that was my first introduction to avocados. I loved the crunchy corn tortillas rolled tightly around thinly sliced beef drenched in Avocado Sauce. Yum! If you can’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Olvera Street, enjoy this easy crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup with your friends and family.
You might also enjoy Mexican Hat Black Bean Soup, Baja Pico de Gallo, Cantina Salsa, Fetamole, Lime and Tomato Tajicos, Chicken Fajitas, Taco Salad with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce and Jalapeno Bean Dip, Jaberwocky Burritos, Black Bean Breakfast Burritos and Taco Salad Kit.
Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 6 Hours | Yield: 16-18 Cups | Level: Easy
- 3 cups cooked chicken, bite-size broken pieces or diced
- 1 small onion, diced, about 2/3 to 3/4 cup
- 2 Anaheim peppers, finely diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 28-oz cans peeled whole tomatoes, broken in pieces
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp Chipotle Tabasco hot sauce
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- lime wedges
- shredded cheddar
- diced avocado
- sour cream
- chopped cilantro
- tortilla chips
Special Equipment – 5 quart crockpot or large pot
1 Combine all the soup ingredients in a 5-quart crockpot. Set on high and slow cook for 6 hours.
2 Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime, dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, diced avocado and crunchy tortilla chips.
Cooked Chicken – Rotisserie chicken is easy to find in the deli department of most supermarkets. Another option is to roast bone-in chicken breasts. Line a baking sheet with foil, brush each breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until juices run clear, about 45 minutes, depending on the size.
When garden or field ripened tomatoes are available in season, exchange 1 28-oz can of tomatoes for 4 large or 6 medium fresh tomatoes diced. During the off season, canned tomatoes have more flavor than fresh tomatoes grown in greenhouses or ripened in route to the supermarket. Diced tomatoes can be used but whole tomatoes have superior quality.
This soup freezes well.
Instructions for stove top – Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, Anaheim peppers, jalapeño pepper, garlic and sauté for 8-10 minutes until soft with brown edges. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and deglaze the pan by loosening browned bits from the pan. Add the remaining 5 cups chicken broth plus the rest of the soup ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Consider adding 1-2 teaspoons of chicken soup base or bouillon to improve the flavor layers since it won’t be simmered as long as the crockpot version. As a result it will also be a little more spicy.
Serve as a starter with Lime and Tomato Tajicos, Chicken Fajitas, Taco Salad with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce or Jaberwocky Burritos.
Hearty enough for a main dish. Serve with Corn Muffins and one or more dips or salsas such as Fetamole, Cantina Salsa, Baja Pico de Gallo or Jalapeno Bean Dip and multi-grain tortilla chips.
- Exchange whole peeled for diced tomatoes.
- Exchange cilantro for parsley or omit.
- Exchange Chipotle Tabasco for regular Tabasco or other hot sauce of choice.
- Increase or decrease the heat by adjusting the amount of Anaheim peppers or discard the veins and seeds from the jalapeño. The chili powder or hot sauce could also be adjusted.
- Exchange Cheddar for Monterey Jack, Queso Blanco or Queso Fresco. Or try a Mexican blend with Asadero and Queso Quesadilla.
Inspiration – Jo Ann Seely
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 5, 2013