This straightforward version of tortilla soup comes together quickly. Canned white or yellow hominy packs the mix in flavor. Made from dried corn kernels that have been treated with alkali, hominid gives a proper earthy, corny flavor.
Additional decorations also play an important role. Broken tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, and lemon wedges contribute to both flavor and texture. When I’m in a low mood, I also add cubes of avocado and a piece of sour cream.
Tortilla chicken soup with poblanos and homini
fruit: 2 servings, can be doubled
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion finely chopped
2 poblano chilies, upstream, seeded, chopped; See the chef’s notes
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can white (or yellow) butter, washed
4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloin, chopped if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Appetizer: 2 cups (2 ounces) tortilla chips, cut into approximately 1-inch pieces, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and lemon wedges
Cook’s notes: Poblanos is a fresh hot pepper that varies in hot temperatures (Scoville units from 1,000 to 3,000), generally milder than jalapenos. Sometimes it is categorized as “basilla”. They have dark green skin and dense flesh. When you have finished working with fresh chili, wash your hands and work surface and do not touch eyes or face.
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering (use a Dutch oven if it doubles). Add onions and poblanos. Cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Stir in broth, water, hominy, and chicken, and cook over low heat. Simmer until chicken is cooked through (recording 160 degrees), 5 to 10 minutes (time varies depending on chicken size). Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let it cool slightly, and then chop it into small pieces with two forks.
3. Bring soup back to a simmer, stir in shredded chicken, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Taste: Season with salt and pepper. Cover each portion with 1 cup of tortilla chips and 1 tablespoon of cilantro. Served with lemon wedges. At my house, I serve some hot sauce on the counter for those who want to turn up the heat of the seasoning.
source: “The Everyday Athlete Cookbook” by America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $29.99)