The rich & spicy flavours of Mexican food are some of my earliest food memories. When I was five, I traveled to Mexico with my family and remember being blown away by the tasty food, colourful dresses and beautiful hand etched leather purses. That trip, we brought home more than wonderful souvenirs, I came home with a love for Mexican cuisine! That might be why I get so excited when Cinco de Mayo rolls around, it’s the perfect excuse to cook a Mexican feast.
While the Mexican cuisine we know in Canada isnʼt overly complicated, authentic Mexican cuisine can be complex in flavours. Knowing how to dose the spice of the many chilies, the acidity of the citrus and the sweet earthiness of the maze (corn) is something Iʼve learned to master with years of practice and a lot of trial & error 🙂
But even if you arenʼt a master chef, there is one recipe that is so simple and yet perfectly represents the flavours of Mexico in all its glory. Hereʼs my recipe for the best Chicken Tortilla Soup, just in time for Cinco de Mayo!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 celery branch diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 jalapeño diced less if you donʼt like too much spice
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 5 large tomatoes diced
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 4 chicken thighs or drumsticks bone in & skin
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped and more for garnish
- 1 lime zested & juiced and 2 limes sliced into wedges for garnish
- 1 avocado diced
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over medium heat then add the evoo, onion, celery, carrot, jalapeño, garlic and cook until onion is softened.
Add the chicken and cook until all sides have been seared.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken, separating the meat and removing the bones & skin. Add the meat back to the pot and simmer for 3 minutes.
Spoon soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, lime wedges, sliced avocado & cilantro.
- 6 6- inch corn tortillas cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
Preheat the oven to 425°F and then toss the tortilla strips with the evoo, salt & zest in a bowl, making sure to coat all the pieces evenly.
Scatter the pieces on a baking tray and bake 8-10 min or until they are golden brown and crunchy.
Let cool and then use or store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Have fun, be safe and make your Cinco de Mayo a delicious one!