10,000 Year Old Soup

No, I'm not serving you yesterday's broth, just talking about tortillas. Masa is made from maize. The making of tortillas dates back approximately 10,000 BC, according to Mayan legend. Tortillas are really not much different today. I think a tortilla soup is ideal to serve up on occassions from a gameday party to even a church supper. The ingredients are universally available along with it's wide appeal. I've prepared this recipe around the globe with several variations including fish, shellfish, beef or pork.

Taking the time to pre-grill the chicken, sausage and vegetables in this recipe makes a great flavor enhancer to this soup. After-all, when tailgating, the entire soup would be prepared on a grill. I've also included instructions for this recipe to be fully cooked indoors, in case the snow happens to bury your grill, or just dig that grill out!

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Corn Tortilla Soup

Makes 4 servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | Adapted from Know Your Fire cookbook

1 pound boneless chicken thighs*

2 chorizos or spicy sausages*

Olive oil

2 ears of corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 sweet onion, *thickly sliced

2 red bell pepper, *halved and seeded

2 jalapeño peppers, *split and seeded

3-4 plum tomatoes, *halved

1 head caramelized garlic, pureed

3 scallions, chopped

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 cup tomato sauce

6 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 (8-inch) corn or flour tortillas

fresh ground pepper to taste

1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

* Chop into small pieces if not pre-grilling the chicken, chorizos and vegetables. Then add into soup pot as instructed below.

Pre heat the grill to medium high.

Brush chicken thighs with olive oil. Grill chicken and chorizos 7-8 minutes on each side. Remove, cool and cut into half inch pieces.

If using fresh corn, grill the corn. And, if grilling vegetables - brush with olive oil and grill 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove, cool and chop into small pieces. Or, if not grilling vegetables chop into small pieces for the next step.

Pre heat a large soup pot to medium temperature. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, all the vegetables, chicken, chorizo, tomatoes, cumin, and tomato sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. 

Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and hot sauce. bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, on a low temperature grill place the tortillas on grill and toast lightly on both sides. Cut the tortillas into strips 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide. Tortillas may also be cut into strips and lightly toasted in a hot oven- if not toasting on a grill. Add 3/4 of the tortilla strips to the soup during the last 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season with pepper and cilantro. 

Serve hot soup topped with cheese and remaining tortilla strips. 

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