Another gem from Bobby Flay. Aside from a little prep work, this soup is easy to make and the payoff of flavor is extremely satisfying. Think something similar to a chicken tortilla soup, but a tastier and more refined version- the Cadillac of tortilla soup. And, I might add, beautiful to look at. We dined on this as a main course, but you could also serve it as the first course for a larger meal.
Serves: 4-5 as a first course
adapted from: Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook
2 (8 oz) boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves (or 2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded)
2 tablespoons canola oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ancho chiles (I substituted New Mexico chiles- they have the same heat scale rating.)
1 oz dried Porcini mushrooms
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can posole (hominy)* rinsed, and drained (or reserve some liquid if desired)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¾ cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
fried corn tortilla strips (see Sophie’ Chopped Salad)
chopped fresh chives, for garnish
lime wedges, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the chicken on both sides with the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and just cooked through, 12-15 minutes. remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, discard the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, put the anchos and porcini in separate small bowls. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and pour the hot water over the anchos and porcini just to cover. Let soak for about 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain, seed, and thinly slice the anchos. Drain and chop the porcini.
Pour the stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Add a little bit of the hominy juice for flavor, if desired.) Add the anchos, porcini, and posole and cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cheddar cheese, some of the fried tortilla strips, chives, and lime.
*Hominy is dried white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. You can find hominy in the canned vegetable aisle. You might be more familiar with the ground version- grits. Hominy was one of the first food gifts the American Indians gave to the colonists. I love it, and it absorbs all of the wonderful flavors in this soup.