Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup with Chili Lime Chicken

I'm slowly giving in. Rain and general dreariness forced me to break out the Le Creuset and make a comforting soup this Sunday night. I don't wax poetic about pumpkin spice lattes every fall (did you know I don't like coffee? I know...weird), but there are a few pumpkin treats I can get behind. Pumpkin tortilla soup is one of them.

I stumbled upon this recipe on the Kitchn last fall and have made some adjustments to amp up the flavor and make it a bit healthier and substantial. I recommend serving on a cold night, snuggled up on the couch with a cute guy and a cute dog (kitties would make a nice -- albeit more sassy -- substitution). Or maybe that's just me.

This go-round, I made some roasted chicken to make the soup more filling AND so that I'd have leftovers for lunch this week. This addition of a bit more protein makes it more of a meal. If you're going veg, black beans would be awesome too.

Corn tortillas give this a lot of depth and a thick, luscious texture. Check your grocery store for fresh corn tortillas... in many big markets they're delivered daily. At our local store, if you arrive on a Saturday morning sometimes they're even warm.

First can of the season. Note, DO NOT use pumpkin pie mix here. Just go for the straight pureed pumpkin.

After an hour of simmering, the flavors have melded and you're ready for dinner.

Serve with baked tortilla strips, shredded chicken, avocado and cilantro.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup with Chili Lime Chicken
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
10 6-inch corn tortillas, 6 cut into 1/2 inch squares and 4 cut into small strips
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons cumin
3 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 avocado, cut into strips
2 bone-in chicken breasts
Juice of one lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken breasts on a cookie sheet or  in a casserole dish. Cover with 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne. Massage into chicken and let rest.

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic, cilantro and tortillas until onions are soft; stirring often so that tortillas don't stick. Add 1 tablespoon cumin and 2 teaspoons cayenne; cook until fragrant. Add pumpkin, tomatoes and chicken stock. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

Place chicken in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until the juices of the chicken run clear. Remove from dish and allow to cool before handling. Use fork and knife to shred meat from the chicken breast.

Place remaining tortilla strips on a cookie sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Back for 5 minutes or until crispy.

Once soup has finished cooking, serve with 1/4-1/2 cup shredded chicken, tortilla strips, avocado and bit of cilantro.

*There will be remaining chicken from this recipe


  1. There's a little Mexican market in my neighborhood, and getting the warm tortillas is always the best! This sounds like a great cozy dish, especially since I have a bunch of leftover roasted squash that is waiting to be put to good use.

    Also, love finding another cooking blog from a fellow Chicagoan (and someone else in PR/marketing even!) I can't tell if this comment will show links, but I just started blogging this summer as well at My Homespun Home, and my family also makes up a large part of my readership :-)

    And I think I even have that same red pot! Le Creuset?

  2. Love your blog, My Homespun Home! We Chicago ladies have to stick together.


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