Everyone has that favorite dish they have to try as many places as possible, trying to find the best version out there. For my cousin Christina, it’s a turkey reuben. For my dad, it used to be fish and chips. My mom, a Greek salad. For me, whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, it’s tortilla soup.
I like both creamy American and more traditional, broth-based versions of tortilla soup in everywhere from small independent restaurants to chains. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of bowls from Max & Erma’s and Qdoba and I’m not apologizing for it.
I wanted to make my own tortilla soup so I could have it whenever I wanted and to try and make it a bit healthier (since I usually go for multiple bowls). This recipe is a modified version of a soup by Rachel Ray and it comes together remarkably quickly without tasting that way.
This soup was a favorite in our household back in the states and has definitely become one of those that makes us feel most at home here in Japan. Now that I’m more comfortable grocery shopping here, I’m able to get everything I need. It’s fresh and best of all, spicy. Mild food eaters need not apply — you gotta have some heat.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken (breasts or thighs)
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large jalapeño, minced
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer fire roasted if I can find them)
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 1/2 cup rice (uncooked — I like basmati) for 1 cup cooked
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken with salt, pepper, coriander and thyme and cook for 4 minutes.
- Add bell pepper, onion and jalapeño and cook 8 to 10 minutes to soften.
- Add tomatoes and stock and heat through.
- Stir in cooked rice and fresh cilantro and serve with shredded cheese, avocado and tortilla chips.
That’s it, now give it a try. Vamanos!