Garlicky Chicken Tortilla Stew
This spicy, garlic-heavy stew is a great way to warm up on a chilly winter day in Vermont. It’s also a great way to take advantage of our bulk section and utilize the magic of dried beans (instead of canned) -- all it takes is a little time!
If using dried beans—add soaked beans to a large pot and cover with 4 inches of water. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beans are tender. Reserve. (If using canned beans, see step 6). While beans are cooking, proceed to cooking the tortilla strips and sweet potatoes.
Tortilla Strips and Sweet Potato Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375°F, line 2 baking sheets with a silicon baking mat, parchment paper, or foil (to save cleanup time). Loosely scatter the tortilla strips on one sheet, evenly drizzle them with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and toss to coat evenly. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. Toss sweet potato chunks with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper, then transfer to the second baking sheet and roast as tortilla strips bake. Roast until lightly browned around the edges and soft in the middle, 15-20 minutes. While strips and sweet potatoes bake, begin making the soup.
To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno (if using), and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, black beans, chicken, corn (if using), lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the roasted sweet potatoes in the last few minutes of cooking. (This is more of a thick stew than a soup, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water). Add the cilantro and boil gently for 1 minute. Taste soup and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments to taste. Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese, more cilantro, and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Extra tortilla strips will keep in airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days.