About a month and a half ago, Bob and I went to Whole Foods to get some tomatoes for this soup, only to discover that it was closed down! Thankfully, we read the sign more closely indicating that they had moved locations. We followed the road to the new store and OH MY GOSH it's amazing!!!!!!!! If anyone who reads this in in the Chicago area, have you been to the new Whole Foods in Lincoln Park??? WOW! We started by descending the escalator into the vibrantly colored produce section. Amazing. To the right of the produce is a bar where you can get drinks to sip while you shop (genius, right?). I don't need to go into all the details, but let's just say this store has it all and then some - complete with a wine bar in the center of the store which specializes in wine and cheese flights, and culminating in a ginormous gourmet food court and a bakery with an extensive, mouth-watering pastry selection. If you live near Chicago, you must go!
Anyway, I've always wanted to try jicama, but have never found it in our regular grocery store. The new Whole Foods not only labels each produce item with a sign stating the identity and country/region of origin, but it also tells you how to prepare it! I decided to buy some jicama and throw it in this soup.
First of all, this soup is reallllllly delicious. Definitely the best tortilla soup I've made at home. We also really liked the addition of the jicama - it gave it a slight crunch. My opinion - don't skimp on the toppings here; they really do make it sooo good. Seriously, each component (tortilla chips, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and fresh cilantro) add to the soup, and I couldn't bear eliminating even just one.
The first time I made this soup, I baked the chicken and then shredded it. The second time, I put frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot on low with some water and a generous sprinkling of salt in the morning, then had easily shreddable chicken by the time we got home from work. A shredded rotisserie chicken would also be great. If you like Chicken Tortilla Soup, you'll love this recipe!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
5 vine-ripened tomatoes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small jicama, julienned
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
(Not so) optional toppings:
Crushed tortilla chips
1 Roma/plum tomato, diced
Chopped fresh cilantro
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Light sour cream
Preheat oven to 350F.
1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil oil on a foil-lined baking sheet and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, jicama, and bell pepper, and saute about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the chicken stock, 1 cup water, and half of the diced jalapenos. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover and decrease heat to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place the remaining jalapenos, the canned tomatoes with their juices and the roasted tomatoes (including as much as possible of the juices and browned tomato bits) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the jalapeno-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the soup and continue simmering, covered, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Add salt and pepper to tasted, along with the cooked chicken. Allow to simmer a few more minutes, until the chicken is heated through.
6. Ladle soup into bowls. Top as desired and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats