I feel like there’s been just about every possible version of tortilla soup floating around out there, and I’ve had my go-to version for awhile (thanks Ina!) But last night, I felt like doing something different. Instead of the fire roasted tomato-based soup I’ve come to rely on, I was dreaming of something a little more exotic, with a chile-scented broth made a bit more complex with toasted spices, adobo sauce and black beans. Sweet potatoes and corn took the place of my usual carrots and onions, and of course the garnishes really took it over the top: bowls piled high with fresh chunks of avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, lime wedges, cheddar and cilantro. It was such a comforting meal to kickoff an early-fall week, and the spicy kick even cleared my sinuses of these allergies that have been hanging around lately. I think I’ve definitely found my go-to soup of the season… Hope you try it, and I’d love to hear about what soups you guys are cooking up this fall! (and thanks to Wynn for snapping these lovely photos yesterday!)
Sweet Potato-Chipotle Tortilla Soup
*makes 6 servings
- 3 whole allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
- 1 quart high-quality low sodium chicken broth
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 corn tortillas
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1/2″ dice
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- In a small, dry skillet (not nonstick), toast allspice, cumin and peppercorns over medium heat, shaking occasionally, until fragrant (mine took about 3 minutes.)
- Add the toasted spices to a blender with onion, garlic, chipotles, adobo, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup chicken broth. Blend on high power until completely smooth.
- In a large pot, combine the purée, the rest of the broth and the diced sweet potato. Bring to a simmer, then cover and let simmer for 45 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
- Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the tortillas into strips, then spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with the tiniest bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt (I used garlic salt.) Bake for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
- Add chicken, black beans and corn to the pot, and let simmer for a couple minutes just to heat through. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
- Divide soup among bowls, and top with sliced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar and tortilla strips.
*spice blend inspired by this recipe.