SPICY TORTILLA SOUP
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, seeded and halved
1 green bell pepper, seeded and halved
2 15-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 10-ounce cans enchilada sauce
2 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chiles, drained
2 cups water
1 15-ounce can chicken broth
1 15-ounce can beef broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend
1 medium-size (about 14 ounces) bag tortilla chips
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium avocado, peeled and diced (optional)
1 16-ounce container sour cream (optional)
1. Grill chicken, preferably over an open fire, browning each piece on both sides. (Note: Meat does not require thorough heating during this step because it will finish cooking in the Dutch oven.)
2. Roast red and green bell pepper halves on the grill until lightly charred.
3. Cube the grilled chicken breasts into bite-size pieces and chop the grilled peppers, placing each, along with the tomatoes, onions, and garlic, in a Dutch oven with a capacity of at least six quarts.
4. Add enchilada sauce and green chilies.
5. Pour water, chicken broth, and beef broth into the Dutch oven. Stir and add cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and bay leaf. Stir thoroughly.
6. Cover and cook for two hours using 20 charcoal briquettes under the oven and 10 briquettes on the lid. Refresh the coals as they expire.
7. Remove from heat, remove the bay leaf, and stir shredded cheese into soup.
8. Serve in bowls, topping with a handful of crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
9. If desired, garnish with diced avocado and dollop of sour cream.
Serves: 8 to 10
Recipe by Mac McCoy, Sequoia Council assistant district commissioner, Hanford, Calif. Mac took first place in the entree division of the Scouting magazine 2009 “Great Tastes in Camp Cooking” contest. Photograph by Pat Haverfield; styling by Trace Hayes.