Soup #13: Lucky Number or Getting to the Heart of the Matter

The establishment (read “bar,”  but establishment sounds a little more respectable) where my husband and I met  is known for its endless salads and bowls of tortilla soup.   We actually met there through mutual friends who just happened to run into each other that night.  It was fate, what can I say.

I soon found out that this tortilla soup was one of my future husband’s favorite meals.  Unlike other tortilla soups that are made with only chicken broth, this is much more cheesy and decadent.   I took a cheddar soup recipe and tweaked it until I duplicated the restaurant’s.  Was it my winning personality and good looks that won his heart or the tortilla soup?  That is,  indeed,  the question. 

Garnished with a bit of chipotle cheddar cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 T. light olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs (with leaves), finely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced (I used a yellow one.)
1 clove garlic, minced

3 T. flour
1/2  t. freshly ground pepper
1/2  t. dry mustard
2 c. milk
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 can Hatch chiles and tomatoes (or Rotel)
1 c. grated colby/jack blend
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, diced
Extra grated cheddar cheese for garnish
Tortilla chips 
Guacamole for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large sauce pan.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic;  cook until tender (around 6 minutes).  Stir in flour, ground pepper and mustard and heat until bubbly.  Slowly add milk using a whisk and whisk constantly.  When milk has been incorporated, add chicken broth, and tomatoes and stir.  Heat to boiling, whisking constantly.  Boil and whisk 1 minute.  Reduce heat and stir in cheese and chicken with a spoon.  Heat over low heat until cheese has melted.  Remove from heat.

Ladle unto individual serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of guacamole and a sprinkling of grated cheese.  Serve with tortilla chips on the side.  Serves 8.

Garnished with blue corn tortilla chips.

I did not add guacamole because the grocery store was PACKED due to the fact that we are scheduled to get nine to twelve inches of snow tonight.  I was not going back into that gauntlet for avocados!

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