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    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    This is truly the best chicken tortilla soup! This classic Mexican soup is made a tomato based soup topped with crispy fried tortillas soup, avocado, Jack cheese, cilantro, and lime.

    Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

    Tortilla soup encompasses all the things I love best in Mexican cooking.
    Do you like salsa? Avocado? Cilantro? Fresh hot tortilla chips? Tortilla soup is like a soup version of my favorite enchilada, with chicken, and tortilla chips. And avocado.
    Video! How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Don’t Skip Frying the Tortillas
    The essential step that distinguishes tortilla soup from other Mexican soups is that you fry strips of corn tortillas in oil first, and then use the tortilla cooking oil to build the soup.
    Tortillas chips aren’t merely a garnish for this soup. By using the tortilla frying oil as a base for the soup you infuse the whole soup with the warm flavor of toasted corn tortillas!

    Best Tortillas for Chicken Tortilla Soup
    The best tortillas to use for tortilla soup are stale yellow corn tortillas. Yellow corn tortillas are sturdier than white corn tortillas and have a richer flavor when cooked. Homemade is best, of course, but store-bought tortillas will also work for this recipe.
    The tortillas should be a little stale, or dry; they’ll fry up more easily that way. My guess is that tortilla soup was first invented as a way to use leftover tortillas.
    Since I don’t usually have dry tortillas sitting around, I put my fresh-from-the-fridge corn tortillas in a 200°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. That’s just enough heat to dry them sufficiently so they fry easily.
    More Mexican soups to try

    From the editors of Simply Recipes

    Time-Saving Short Cut for Chicken Tortilla Soup
    If you don’t have leftover chicken already in the fridge for this recipe, pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work. (Save the bones to make homemade chicken stock!)
    You can also quickly poach a few chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe.
    How to Store Chicken Tortilla Soup
    Store the fried tortilla chips separately in an airtight container at room temperature. The soup itself can be kept refrigerated for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months.
    More Great Mexican Soups & Stews

    Updated December 27, 2020 : We added a video showing you how to make chicken tortilla soup. No changes to the original recipe. Enjoy!

    Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

    This recipe is easily doubled.
    This recipe is adapted from one we found years ago on the website of Muir Glen, makers of organic canned tomatoes. Muir Glen makes a particularly good “fire-roasted” canned tomato, which is well suited to Mexican dishes.

    Ingredients
    6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, preferably a little old and dried out
    1/4 cup corn oil, peanut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped (Depending on the hotness and flavor desired. You can also mix chiles – 1 Anaheim and a half jalapeño.)
    4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
    1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
    1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
    1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
    1 ripe avocado
    1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)
    Chopped fresh cilantro
    1 lime, cut into wedges

    Method

    1 Fry the tortilla strips: If you are starting with somewhat old, dried out tortillas, great. If not and you are starting with relatively fresh tortillas, put them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 200°F for 10 to 15 minutes to dry them out a bit. It is best to start with tortillas that don’t have a lot of moisture in them.
    Cut the tortillas in half, and then cut the halves into 1/4-inch wide strips.
    Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 3-quart pot. Working in three batches, fry the tortilla strips in the oil, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove the tortilla strips from the pan and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

    2 Sauté the vegetables: Add the chopped onions to the pan, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chile and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions and chiles have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
    3 Simmer the soup: Add the broth, tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat to high, heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cook until heated through.

    4 Serve with tortilla strips and garnishes: To serve, pit, peel, and cut the avocado into 1-inch pieces. Divide half of the tortilla strips among 4 individual serving bowls; ladle in soup. Top with avocado and cheese; garnish with remaining tortilla strips and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

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    Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family’s recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.
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    Ham and White Bean Soup

    Hearty Ham and Bean Soup, perfect for cold winter days! White beans, ham shanks, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Tabasco, and herbs make this delicious ham and bean soup a cool weather classic.

    Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

    When the weather turns cold, and all you want to do is stay cozy and warm, the best thing to do is to make a big pot of hearty soup. On days like these, nothing is more comforting than this ham and white bean soup. (Well, maybe some fuzzy woolen slippers, but you can’t eat those!)
    Video! How to Make Ham and Bean Soup

    The Best Ham and Bean Soup
    This ham and bean soup is one of my favorite recipes on the website, and one that my father has been making for the family for decades. He makes a big batch (doubles this one) and because it just gets better as the days go by, we’ll enjoy it for dinner one night and then for lunch for several days afterward.
    Why is it that some stews and soups improve the next day? I think it’s because the flavors from the beans, ham, and vegetables have time to blend. The starch from the beans settles more into the broth making the soup thicker and more stew-like too.

    Ham shanks vs. ham hocks
    This recipe uses smoked ham shanks or ham hocks to create the rich broth for the soup. Ham shanks tend to have more meat on them (the photos of the soup show meat from a ham shank).
    Think of the hock as the pig’s “ankle”, right above the feet. The shanks are below the shoulder (front) or the ham (rear leg).
    I recommend using shanks for this recipe if you have a choice. If you use ham hocks and you would like a meaty soup, you may want to add some chopped ham steak to the soup.

    From the editors of Simply Recipes

    What to Serve with Bean Soup
    A hunk of crusty, buttered bread would make a great accompaniment to a bowl of this soup. You might also go for some garlic bread, cornbread, or buttermilk biscuits.
    How to Store and Freeze this Soup
    This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and the flavor even improves! You can also freeze it in individual containers for up to three months. Thaw overnight and reheat, or reheat straight from the freezer over low heat.
    More Great Bean Soups!

    Updated December 3, 2020 : We added a new video to help you make the best soup ever. Enjoy!

    Ham and White Bean Soup Recipe

    Use ham shanks rather than hocks if you would like a meaty soup.

    Ingredients
    1 pound (2 1/2 cups) dry white beans, like cannellini or Great Northern
    2 quarts of water
    2-3 pounds smoked ham shanks or ham hocks
    2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning
    1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 cup diced onions (about 1 small onion)
    1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 ribs)
    2/3 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    Tabasco sauce
    Salt and pepper
    Fresh parsley

    Method

    1 Soak the dry beans: Fill a pot large enough to hold the beans with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the beans and soak for about 2 hours. Drain the water.
    2 Simmer the ham: While the beans are soaking in step 1, put the ham shanks or ham hocks in a separate large pot and cover them with 2 quarts of water. Add the herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning. Warm on high heat until the water comes to a simmer, then lower the heat, partially cover and maintain the simmer for about an hour.
    3 Sauté the onions: Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.
    4 Add vegetables and beans to the ham broth: Once the ham hocks or shanks have been simmering for an hour, add the drained soaked beans from step 1, the cooked onions and garlic, and the chopped celery and carrots.
    5 Simmer the soup: Cook for another 40 minutes or so, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone. Remove the ham bones from the soup and pull off any meat and return it to the soup. Discard the bones.
    6 Season to taste: Add several drops of Tabasco to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.

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    Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family’s recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.
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    Minestrone Soup

    Minestrone soup is an Italian classic! This version is made with cannellini beans, chicken stock, cabbage, potato, zucchini, carrots, plum tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

    Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

    Do you love minestrone?
    This favorite Italian soup is made with fresh seasonal vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
    There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based soup base (such as chicken stock).
    Video! How to Make Minestrone Soup

    When it comes to minestrone, improvise!
    So, what you put in your minestrone is really up to you. Don’t like beans? Leave them out. Love pasta? Put some in (we recommend small pasta like ditalini). Minestrone really is all about improvisation.
    But where to start? Here is a hearty base minestrone soup recipe, with plenty of white beans, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. It’s one of our favorite soups to make when the weather turns cool.

    How to Store and Freeze Minestrone
    Minestrone leftovers can be refrigerated for about a week and reheated either in the microwave or over low heat on the stove top.
    The soup also freezes fairly well, though the vegetables tend to be softer after freezing and reheating. Note that pasta does not freeze well, so if you’re planning on adding some, it’s best to freeze the soup without the pasta and then add it after thawing and reheating.

    From the editors of Simply Recipes

    To Add Pasta or Not to Add Pasta?
    This recipe doesn’t call for pasta, but it can make minestrone extra hearty. Use small pasta like ditalini, but macaroni works in a pinch. About one cup of uncooked pasta is a good amount.
    So, when do you add pasta to minestrone? If you want everything to cook in one pot, about 10 minutes into simmering the vegetables in Step 3. You’ll probably need to add 1-2 more cups liquid bit by bit, since the pasta will absorb some.
    For more control over doneness, boil the pasta separately in stock or water, then drain and add to the finished soup.
    As leftovers sit, pasta absorbs broth and gets soft. To keep this from happening, boil it separately, drain, and add the cooked pasta as needed when you serve the soup. It’s best to freeze the soup with no pasta; add it after thawing and reheating.
    What to Serve with Minestrone Soup?
    You can’t go wrong with crusty bread. And a big dollop of pesto floated on each bowl right at serving time is heavenly! If you want more meat, try adding Italian sausages to the soup, or have them on the side.
    Check out our other minestrone recipes

    Updated November 9, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a new video to help you make the best minestrone ever. No changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

    Minestrone Soup Recipe

    You can use canned beans (use a good quality brand, I recommend S&W or Bush’s) or you can cook dry beans.
    If starting with dry beans, soak about 3/4 cup of dry beans overnight in cold water (or pour boiling water over the beans and soak for 1 hour). Drain. Cover with a couple inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, or until tender enough to eat. Then drain and use in this recipe as directed.

    Ingredients
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    3/4 cup chopped onion
    3/4 cup chopped carrot
    3/4 cup chopped celery
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme
    1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
    1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
    2 cups sliced savoy or curly cabbage
    1 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
    2 medium fresh ripe tomatoes (romas if available), cored, peeled, chopped
    6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
    1 15-ounce can cannellini or great northern white beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans)
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

    Method

    1 Sauté the vegetables: Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.
    Add the bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds. Add the potato, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock.
    3 Simmer the soup: Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
    4 Finish the soup: Add the beans and parsley to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
    Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

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    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family’s recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.
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    Corn Chowder

    What’s the Best Corn for Corn Chowder?
    Fresh sweet corn on the cob is the ideal corn to use here. It’s best if it’s in season, but you can use off-season corn from the grocery store and get good results.
    Can You Make Corn Chowder with Frozen Corn?
    Yes, you can use frozen corn, but you won’t have the same intensity of corn flavor because you won’t simmering the stripped cobs in the milk. To compensate, you could add about a cup of extra frozen corn, first whizzing it in a food processor.
    For Great Corn Chowder, Cook the Corn Cobs
    The step of simmering the corn cobs in the milk may seem surprising, but it adds a ton of flavor. You’re essentially making a corn broth. After cutting the kernels off the cobs, you can extract more corn essence by “milking” the cobs: run the back side of your knife down the cob to extract the remaining sweet, milky liquid and add this to the chowder along with the cobs in Step 3.
    Ways to Adapt Corn Chowder
    To make it vegetarian, omit the bacon and use 2 tablespoons of butter.
    To make it vegan, omit the bacon. Use 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and replace the milk with the plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice. For a richer soup, use canned coconut milk for part of the non-dairy milk.
    To vary the flavors:
    Add a minced jalapeno to make it spicy.
    Use more bacon, and instead of simmering the rendered bacon in the chowder, reserve it and add the crumbles just before serving.
    Add a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika.
    Use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme instead of the fresh thyme.
    Add peeled shrimp during the last few minutes of cooking; simmer until firm and pink.
    Replace some of the milk with half and half or heavy cream to make a richer chowder.
    Swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes, omit the thyme, add a minced canned chipotle pepper, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
    How to Make a Thicker Corn Chowder
    For a heartier soup, add an extra potato.
    Or, before serving the chowder, mash it with a potato masher to give it a thick-but-chunky texture. You could also pulse it with an immersion blender.
    For a smoother texture, puree about a third of the chowder in a bender or food processor.
    What to Serve with Corn Chowder
    You can’t go wrong with crusty bread and a simple green salad. For something more substantial, grill a few chicken breasts, or try our Bay Shrimp and Avocado Salad.
    How to Store and Freeze Corn Chowder
    Leftover chowder will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
    You may freeze the chowder for up to 6 months, but it will change the texture and not be quite as creamy. To remedy that, consider pureeing the thawed soup.
    Have Loads of Summer Corn? Make These Recipes! LEGGI TUTTO