Might Be In Over My Head…Maybe?

Monday Munchies Oaxaca Inspired Soup www.wifemomhouseohmy.comWhen I was in college I did my anthropological field studies in Oaxaca, Mexico and fell head over heels in love with many of the flavors I had…except molé, I still don’t like molé. One of those amazing food items was a delicious soup that I immediately tried to recreate when I came home. Over the years the recipe has been refined but it is still one of my favorites to make and is super easy. I personally really love it after a hard days work since it is super easy to make and allows me to get out all my frustrations on the crushing the tortilla chips and chopping the fresh ingredients.

It also can be pretty cost effective. For the most part I am able to find the ingredients at the 99 Cent Store in their produce department, including the occasional Queso Fresco. (My preference is the Cacique Oaxaca cheese because it melts and has a mild taste like string cheese but Queso Fresco was my go to until the Oaxaca became available.)

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla Strips (you can make your own or buy the bagged kind)
  • 1 cup of minced onions
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • small amount of vegetable oil for sautéing the onion and garlic
  • 1 can plain diced tomatoes (about 1 cup) – I don’t drain them
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin and chili powder
  • 3 cans or 6 cups of sodium chicken broth

Toppings

  • Tortilla Strips (you can make your own or buy the bagged kind)
  • 2 cans chicken breast or 1 chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1/4 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup per bowl of Cacique Oaxaca Cheese or Queso Fresco
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes per bowl
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh avocado per bowl
  • 6 lime wedges (1 per bowl)

First, I crush about 1 cup of tortilla strips and set them aside for the soup base. Next, I heat the oil and add the onion, followed by the garlic, stirring until they are cooked translucent and smell sweet. (For the cooks out there, I believe this is called sweating the onion/garlic.) Make sure not to burnt he garlic. It burns easy.

I follow this by adding the canned diced tomatoes and heat. I like my toms plain but if you prefer spice, you can used diced tomatoes with chilies. Once warm, about 3-4 minutes, I add my cumin and chili powder and heat for about one minute, stirring to make sure it is blended well. I follow with the chicken broth and crushed tortillas. I stir it all in and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Make sure to stir the base occasionally to make sure you don’t have “stickage” to the bottom of the pot.

I personally like al the mix in the pot but if you prefer a more liquid base, you can strain the base. Either way, pour the base into bowls and add the toppings. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ENJOY!

Despite being a hot soup, I find this very refreshing even in the summer because of the thin base and all the fresh ingredients.

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