It’s the end of the month and I’m falling off the paleo wagon. Still committed to a healthier diet, but God help me, I’m having some damn grains already. Corn and flour specifically. So here we go …
The best kinds of recipes are highly adaptable. Take my tortilla soup. It’s a thick, blended, stew-style concoction that’s not for traditionalists, but delicious all the same. Beans, tortilla chips, vegetables, spices and chicken stock—in almost any variation—blended and topped with shredded chicken, cheese and tortilla strips, will yield something fantastic. It’s so thick and flavorful, it makes for good enchilada filling, nacho dressing and in this case, tostada topping. The first tostada tortilla soup combo was great, but this one might be even better.
Chicken tortilla soup
3-4 cups chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 dried ancho chile, roughly chopped, seeds removed
1 red pepper roughly chopped
2 yellow squash or zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup bacon fat (this is optional–I happened to have it lying around from breakfast that day and it added an extra oomph)
1 can pinto beans, drained of half the juice
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups crushed tortilla chips
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded (I cooked a whole chicken and used a mix of the dark and white meat)
Shredded mexican cheese, sour cream and extra tortilla chips for topping
Put all ingredients (start with 3 cups of chicken broth and add the additional cup as needed while cooking), minus the chicken and toppings in a crock pot. Cook on high, covered, for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Blend crock pot contents until pureed. Stir in chicken (reheat, if necessary before adding). Top with cheese, crumbled tortilla chips and sour cream.
For the tostadas, buy tostada shells, or make your own by frying small corn tortillas in vegetable oil until golden brown. Top with chicken tortilla soup, black or pinto beans and shredded cheese. Toast under broiler until cheese is melty and bubbling. Serve with sour cream.