Showing posts with label chicken tortilla soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken tortilla soup. Show all posts

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Welcome our guest, Connie Archer!

Connie Archer is the author of A Soup Lover's Mystery. Connie grew up in New England, ice skating on neighborhood ponds, clamming on the beach at Cape Cod, and skiing in Vermont. As a girl, she spent several years wading through Caesar’s Gallic War journals and the twelve books of the Aeneid. After majoring in biology in college, she did an about face and earned a degree in English literature. Since then she’s worked at many different jobs — laboratory technician, cocktail waitress, medical secretary, and dinner theatre actress, to name just a few. Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a cat named Basil.

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From Connie: A very special thank you to the authors of Mystery Lovers Kitchen for inviting me over today and giving me a chance to talk about my favorite soup.  Well . . . I have a lot of favorites, but frankly, there is one that has become an obsession – a holy grail of soup, if you will. 

There’s a small lunch place that I go to occasionally, mostly because they have great soups.  They rotate their choices on a daily basis, but one soup has become so popular, that it’s now offered every day of the week. 

That soup is my favorite and it’s become an obsession because I’ve been trying to re-create it at home for the past few years.  Have I come close?  Yes.  Close.  But not exactly the same.  Granted, I’ve come up with some soups that are almost the same, but not quite.  What is this fabulous soup, you may ask? 

Well, it’s called “Chicken Tortilla.”  I’ve ordered tortilla soup in other restaurants and discovered there are great differences.  And this one wouldn’t be considered an authentic Mexican tortilla soup, at least from what I’ve read, but I’m not overly concerned with authentic. 

This holy grail of soups, is a thick tomato-based soup with small bits of chicken, carrot and corn.  You’d think it would be easy to whip it up in the kitchen, wouldn’t you?  Here’s a picture of it. 

I get hungry just looking at it.  My lunch place serves it with cheddar cheese on top and a bag of little crunchy tortilla strips.  (I try to be good and forego the cheese --- ooops, sorry, Avery!) 

Recently, in complete frustration, I broke down and asked begged Albert at the counter for the recipe.  He and Arnold know me pretty well by now.  In fact, as soon as I walk in, they don’t even ask for my order.  My soup is waiting for me at the cash register. 

Albert shook his head. “No dice.” 

“Why?” I asked.

He leaned over the counter.  “I’ll tell you a secret.  It’s my favorite soup, too.” Sheepishly, he admitted he had asked the cook for the recipe and the cook refused him. 

“No!” I exclaimed. 

Albert nodded sadly.  “I told him I work for the company.  I don’t understand why he won’t share the recipe.” 

(See . . . I wasn’t crazy.  This IS a great soup!) 

So – here’s my latest attempt to re-create Chicken Tortilla Soup. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 tbl. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 cups chicken broth or chicken bouillon
1 chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 carrots, chopped very fine
1/2 cup corn (frozen or canned)
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbl. maple syrup or brown sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
3 tbls. cornstarch dissolved in small amount of water

Saute the garlic and onion in butter, add chicken broth to the pot.  Add chicken cubes, cumin, chopped carrots and corn and simmer for 5 minutes or so until the carrots are soft.  

Add crushed tomatoes, maple syrup (or brown sugar), cilantro, and dash of cayenne.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Then mix the cornstarch and water together until dissolved and add to the pot, turn up the heat and stir until the broth is thick. 

Serve with grated cheddar cheese and tortilla strips. 
Serves 4

If you’re inclined to try it yourself, I’d love to hear about it!  Enjoy!

Connie Archer is the author of A Spoonful of Murder (, A Broth of Betrayal ( and just released, A Roux of Revenge ( 

When a band of travelers arrives in the village of Snowflake, Vermont and a dead stranger is found by the side of the road, the past returns with a vengeance.  Long kept secrets will be revealed, lost loves will be found and the lives of many in the village will be irrevocably altered. 

You can visit Connie at
Twitter:  @SnowflakeVT

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

LUCY BURDETTE: Don't you love it when you can (sort of) make two meals at once, for 2/3 the work? Deadline panic plus guests for the weekend = need something easy! 

So I roasted a chicken with a couple of sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side for John and me one night, and made chicken tortilla soup for the visitors the next. This can be even easier if you buy a chicken already roasted or have cleverly frozen some leftovers!



4-5 corn tortillas
1/2 roasted chicken, shredded
1 box chicken broth
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 bay leaf
2 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped, or 1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or to taste
1/2 lime

Cut the tortillas into strips and place them on a baking pan. Pour a little olive oil over and mix so most of the strips have been oiled. Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until beginning to brown. Set these aside.

In a large pot, saute onions, scallions and cumin in 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the broth and tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer for ten minutes. Then add the chicken and corn and black beans and simmer until the corn is tender. (You can do ahead up to this point and put the soup away for the next day.)

When the soup is hot, squeeze in the lime and stir in the cilantro. Serve garnished with crispy tortilla strips and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Ole!


Lucy (that's me!) is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, most recently TOPPED CHEF. You can find the books online or anyplace where books are sold! Please follow me on Twitter or "like" me on Facebook for all the latest news.