Chicken Tortilla Soup and Pioneer Woman Cooks

While I’m staying with my parents in Delaware, I’m having a chance to use the amazing New Castle County Public Library System (far, far better than the Lambeth Public Library system – especially for cookbooks and non-fiction!)  As a result, I was able to check out a few amazing cookbooks, including the wonderful Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier.  I’m a follower of her blog (as Beardy Boyfriend is the original Irish carnivore – it’d be steak and potatoes every night if he had his way!) and she makes a lot of steak and meat orientated dishes.   So I had a chance to try out her cookbook, rather than finding some interesting recipes on the blog.

The book contains a lot of basics – foods for entertaining like fried mozzarella, quiche, guacamole, as well as a lot of ways of cooking meat (sauces, rubs, various steak sandwiches.)  It’s not a cookbook for vegetarians, but it’s fairly perfect for me, since I’m looking for new and creative ways to cook meat.   I’d definitely recommend for anyone looking for “guy” food.

One of the recipes I had really liked from the book, which I had seen on Rock Salt’s blog was the Chicken Tortilla Soup.  So I decided to make a version of it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (adapted from Pioneer Woman and reproduced in her book)

Ingredients:

250g chicken

3 bell pepper (I tend to buy the 3 pack from Sainsburys)

A few tbsps of olive oil (or another kind of oil – would be interested to hear creative oils!)

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 can of chopped tomatos

1 can of black beans

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 chicken stock cube

2 tbsp cornmeal

1 packet of corn tortilla (not flour)

1 packet of taco spice mix

Toppings, which for me include an avocado and grated cheese.

Start by preheating the oven to 190C.  Take the chicken and coat it with olive oil and spices (I normally use a packet of taco sauce mix, which contains cumin and chili powder.  Otherwise, you can rub cumin and chili powder and some salt on it).  If you’re using a packet, make sure you only use about 1/3 of the packet for your coating.

Cook it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  In the meantime, chop up your three peppers, the onion and mince the garlic (or use your garlic press.  I cannot say .  By the time you’ve done, the chicken should be ready.  You’re going to shred the chicken, rather than cutting it, making it small enough to fit into a soup.

Put the oil in the bottom of your soup pot and heat it until it sizzles a bit.  Then add the chopped peppers, onion and garlic.  Cook until the onions are golden and the peppers are softened.  Then add the chicken.  Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste.  Drain the can of black beans and add, along with the remainder of the taco seasoning.

Add in the cornmeal to make a delicious bit of corny taste.  Cut up pieces of the corn tortilla and add into the soup.  Let it simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes (if you’ve prepped it early, you can let it simmer longer, but Beardy boyfriend and I can never let it sit.)  Add toppings and enjoy.  This is delicious and amazing and I hope you enjoy!

And if you’re looking for some innovative ways to cook meat, I’d definitely recommend checking out the Pioneer Woman cookbook!

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