Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla Soup

During my first years here in the States, one of the things that amuse me the most was the aisle of ready to eat food; though I was not completely naive of their existence, the variety was more than the one I have ever seen on the imported food we received in Peru.
Have I mentioned I have a picky eater at the house, lol, her name is Marcela and she does not eat a lot of things. For many years I fed her anything and I will say is chicken, even so; the years past  and she started giving me a suspicious face, she still ate it; but like anything in life, there is always an expiration date. She sometimes has called herself a vegetarian, but of course does not eat vegetables as much, she does love broccoli though and many others, it just depends how we prepared them. 
For many years the can of "Mexican Style Tortilla Soup" made its way from the supermarket to my home, just to please her, camping trips? of course the can traveled with us. Then for a while it disappear from the market's shelf, and anytime I founded it, I stock up; because it was a way to make something yummy and still serve her something she would eat. 
Now days, I do not need to resource to the little can anymore, I can make that soup and many others, having gone to culinary school helped, but having good friends from Mexico that were nice enough to share different ways to cook, how to properly use their chilies, and many other little secrets, has helped me finally make a really good soup that she likes and that we all can enjoy. 
Here is to my girl, the one girl that have give me my gray hairs; for the day that I am not around, she will still have her "Mexican Style Tortilla Soup".


2 Tomatoes, whole
1 Red Pepper, whole
1  large Yellow Onion, quartered
1  Jalapeno
2 Dry Guajillo Pepper
6 dry Chile de Arbol
8 Cups Chicken Stock
1 large Garlic Clove, peel, ends removed and crushed
1/2 Tblsp Mexican Oregano, crushed on hands when adding into soup
Salt, to taste
About 2 Cups Tortilla chips
1 can of black beans, rinse and drained
1 Cup of cooked rice
2 Cups of Shredded Cooked Chicken (either cooked specially for the soup or great way to use left over chicken)
oil, as needed
About 2 Cups of Corn (fresh, frozen or Canned)
2 tsp Cumin
salt and pepper
About 5 cups of hot water

How To:

Heat a large saute pan, place the first 4 ingredients on the hot pan (no oil), and allow them to slowly char, it will take a good 15 to 20 minutes to Soasar, (slowly roast on an open fire or pan) the ingredients.
Mean While in your soup pot, (try and choose a heavy bottom pot, the type that you can display on your table at the same time) heat the Stock with the garlic, oregano, and salt. Keep it simmering.
When all the ingredients on the saute pan are soft and charred and caramelized looking, transferred them to the simmering pot.
On the same saute pan, quickly toast the chilies, allow them to toast on all sides, they will take a dip breath and the toasting not just give them a nice smoky and nutty taste but it also loosens up the seeds, at the end of the toasting time, just take the tip off and shake the seeds away. Then place the chilies on the sou[p pot. Simmer for at least 15 minutes
After the 15 minutes , all your chilies should be soft, as well as the vegetables. Place all of it in a blender, with enough of the liquid and also the tortilla chips. Blend until smooth and return to pot.
Immediately incorporate the beans, rice, chicken. Keep simmering. 
In the mean time, heat a large saute pan , add enough oil to cover the bottom and when shimmering incorporate the corn. Saute the corn until is completely dry from any liquid and it looks a little roasted in color. Add the Cumin Salt and Pepper. 
When done incorporate the corn into the soup, the rest of the hot water (The total amount of soup should be about 4 quarts/16 Cups) depending how much liquid you have already. Allow that the soup simmer all together for 10 minutes and serve.

Suggesting Toppings

Cilantro Lime Sour Cream or Mexican Crema
Chopped Cilantro 
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Avocado Slices

Hope you like my home's Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla Soup, and like always Have Fun Cooking and Enjoy !!!


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