Lately it has been dropping below 40 degrees in sunny Southern California and that is not okay.  Anything below 65 degrees is considered freezing to me, and I currently have the thermostat set to 72 degrees which has resulted in a large increase in my gas and electric bill and a large decrease in my monthly shopping money – no fun.  I need to start finding more economical ways to stay warm. Sweaters are good, as are slippers, but unfortunately every time I get a new pair of slippers one of my little dirtballs chews them up within 48 hours.  So, I’ve decided to implement “Operation Socks & Soup”.  Soup really does warm you up, especially this one because its Spicy (at least by my sensitive taste bud standards). I had to take my fleece off while eating it because it made me so warm! Yay soup!


  • 1 large fresh pasilla chile
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (in juice)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 corn tortillas, sliced into strips and halved
  • 3 TB Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges (I forgot this – oops)


1. To cook the chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 375 and bake for about 25 minutes until no longer pink in the middle. Set aside to cool.  Once cooled, shred with two forks or your hands.

2. Quickly toast the pasila chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fill the kitchen. (If you don’t have a stove with an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.)

3. Cut the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, but a blender is best. I used a magic bullet – love that thing!)

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes.

5. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. (I was lazy and didn’t bother squeezing out the oil and it was fine) Process mixture in the blender/food processor until smooth.

6. Raise the heat under the pan to medium-high. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes.

7. Once mixture has thickned, add all of the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with about a teaspoon of salt, or more or less.

8. While soup is simmering, pour three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add tortillas and fry until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and set aside.  Once cooled, cut into thin strips.

5. Just before serving, add the shredded chicken and corn to the simmering broth. Cook a few more minutes until corn has dethawed. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with cubed avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla strips.


Source: Adapted slightly from A Cozy Kitchen