Barefoot Contessa’s Mexican Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread (click for recipes)
Both of these recipes were fabulous. I think that Ina’s recipe will replace mine for future use. The tortilla slices really give the soup a nice, thick texture. I added a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) for a little extra interest (and nutrition.) The cornbread was great, too, but I exchanged one of the cups of flour for another cup of cornmeal, because the idea of cornbread with more flour than cornmeal just didn’t seem right to me. Very crumbly, but very tasty.
By the way, I used Penzey’s jalapenos in both the soup and the cornbread and it was perfect – just enough of a spicy kick without being too much (particularly for Girl, who is pretty sensitive to heat.)

3 thoughts on “Barefoot Contessa’s Mexican Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread”

  1. WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? Replacing your Chicken Tortilla Soup? I love your CTS…it is now MY CTS, yes that is right, I stole it from you, now several people in my family make it. I can’t believe the Barefoot Contessa’s is better than yours, I just can’t believe it.

  2. OK, don’t panic; here’s the deal: I’ll probably take some parts from each recipe and combine them to pick and choose which things I like about each recipe.
    From mine:
    chili powder
    tomato sauce, rather than whole tomatoes
    (Boy doesn’t like to actually SEE the tomatoes, though he’s fine with the flavor of them)
    From Ina’s:
    tortillas as a thickener
    (gives great flavor and a thick, slightly chunky texture)
    coriander seed
    I have already adapted my recipe a little from what was originally posted and cook the cilantro IN the soup, rather than just using as garnish. I still reserve some for garnish, too, of course. I also sometimes leave out the peas, too. If the kids are getting beans, that’s enough veggies, right?
    The tortillas vs masa for thickener decision is just personal choice. I like them both and, Lord knows, I have enough masa on hand (since it comes in a bag like flour) to thicken tortilla soup every day for a year, but using the tortillas was interesting. They kind of disintegrate as the soup simmer and sort of melt into the soup. Not quite as smooth as using the masa, but yummy.
    Also, Penzey’s dried jalapenos are REALLY good and give nice flavor without too much powerful heat. Can’t recommend them enough and they’re so easy to keep on hand. I’m alsways a little afraid when working with fresh jalapenos. I’m such a klutz that I usually, at some point, end up rubbing my eyes.
    Oh, and by the way, I TOTALLY don’t mind if you steal my recipes! That’s what they’re here for!

  3. I adapted your recipe a little too; I add quite a bit of cilantro to the soup and leave out the carrots and peas. I am going to order the Penzey’s dried jalapenos on my next order, which will be soon.
    Funny, but not so funny story about fresh jalapenos….I made a ton of stuffed jalapenos one time for a party, when I was done I washed my hands very well. A little while later I went to the bathroom. HOLY CRAP!! All I have to say is DON’T go to the bathroom after working with jalapenos. I now wear gloves anytime I work with fresh jalapenos.

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