It seems as though the Fall ingredients and soup trend continues over here. It’s not that I want to overload you with squashes and harvest fruit, it’s that I just can’t help myself. This tortilla soup has become an instant favorite at my house. It’s got sweet, roasted butternut squash and shredded chicken simmered in a chili powder-spiked broth with crumbled, salty blue corn tortilla chips. I’m such a sucker for anything sweet, spicy and salty.
The star here really is the roasted butternut squash. While I’m all for shortcuts, canned and frozen squash won’t give you the same roasted flavor as fresh. Now, I know a whole, fresh butternut squash is an intimidating thing. Unless you’ve got a hacksaw or cleaver in the house, splitting this thing open may be a bit more than you’re willing to take on. My suggestion? Ask the supermarket to halve it for you. Most markets will willing do it for no charge, then all you have to do is roast the halves on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt. Once it’s done, simply scoop the roasted squash out with a spoon and use it anyway you’d like. (Can anyone say roasted butternut squash pizza?)
I like my butternut squash in all forms, but this tortilla soup might emerge as the favorite. Healthy, hearty and satisfying, it makes a perfect lunch or weeknight dinner. A great, seasonal twist on a classically delicious soup.
Related: Chorizo and Blue Corn Tortilla Soup
Butternut Squash Tortilla Soup
6 cups chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (skin and bones discarded)
1 1/2 tbsp. Medium Hot Chili Powder (I love my Penzeys)
1/2 large butternut squash, roasted* (or a whole small one)
zest and juice of 1 small lime
4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled (4 cups before you crumble)
More tortilla chips for garnish
2 tbsp. plain yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup cilantro leaves for garnish
Set a large pot over medium heat and add the stock, chili powder and chicken. Scoop the roasted squash out of its skin and mush with the back of a fork, then add to the pot. Once the liquid comes to a slow bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the lime zest and juice and the crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately and top with more tortilla chips, a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and a hefty sprinkling of cilantro leaves.
Makes 4 dinner-sized portions or 6-8 small servings.
*Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the squash halves on a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tbsp.) and sprinkle with salt (about 1 tbsp.). Pop in the oven for 1 – 1.5 hours, or until the flesh is tender all the way through.