Monday, October 20, 2014
Chicken Tortilla Soup by Jim Brower - from "Giants Entrées" (2004)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. shredded chicken*, pre-cooked
1 15 oz. can Italian style stewed tomatoes, cubed [I substituted a 17 oz. jar of hot habanero salsa, and omitted the chili powder and Tabasco below -- it was still plenty hot!]
4 cups chicken broth
3 carrots**, chopped
2 small zucchini**, sliced
1 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
4 tbsp. flour
1/2 cup water
tortilla chips, avocado, shredded jack cheese
* To make shredded chicken, place chicken pieces in a big pot of cold water, bring to a boil, season with salt & pepper, then cover and simmer for an hour. About halfway through, skim off the unappealing white scum that floats to the surface of the water. When the hour has elapsed, remove chicken and let it cool for about 10 minutes. To shred, use two forks to gently pull the meat apart into bite sized pieces.
** Other vegetables can be substituted according to preference.
In stockpot, add oil, garlic and onions. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, broth, carrots, zucchini, lemon pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin and Tabasco. Simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine flour and water. Whisk into soup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Top with tortilla chips, avocado and cheese.
Safe to say that Jim Brower is not the best known San Francisco Giants pitcher ever. In fact, he wasn't a Giant for very long. He spent time with eight different major league teams: Cleveland Indians (1999-2000), Cincinnati Reds (2001-02), Montreal Expos (2002), San Fran (2003-04), Atlanta Braves (2005), Baltimore Orioles (2006), San Diego Padres (2006) and New York Yankees (2007). Career record: 33-32, 4.67 ERA, 397 strikeouts.
Brower's time with the Giants may not have left a mark, but this soup rocks hard. I mean look it. Even my lousy photography couldn't wreck that sublime view.
It's a good soup for a lazy weekend afternoon. It might seem like a lot of steps, but they are easy to follow. I found some habanero salsa in the local market and I love hot food, so I decided to substitute that instead of the canned stewed tomatoes. It made the soup that much more "Tex-Mexy".
Be sure not to boil this soup too hard or too long, else the zucchini slices will overcook, becoming mushy and gross.
Adding the flour-water mix gives the soup a thicker consistency, definitely worth it. As the recipe indicates, you can use whatever veggies you like, or for a vegan version just swap out the chicken with more veggies, like corn, black beans, etc. Ultimately, this recipe is a great foundation for your own experimentation.
Win #34 for Mr. Brower.