Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup: Ciorba de Perisoare

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Welcome to this month’s Secret Recipe Club post.  This month I was lucky enough to be assigned to Culinary Adventures with Camilla.   As Camilla is group B’s lovely host I knew I would have lots of lovely recipes to choose from and I really wasn’t disappointed.  I love cooking from scratch, discovering new flavours and trying dishes from different cultures and so does Camilla. Her blog is filled with delicious and creative recipes and there really is something for everyone

I soon chose to make ciorba de perisoare which is a Romanian sour turkey meatball soup.   I had never made a sour soup before but as soon as I read it, it reminded me of the sour soups I had eaten in Poland years ago.   Now, this sour soup sounded completely different from the Polish soup I remembered but the idea of making a sour soup had got to me.   I really wanted to make a sour soup.  I knew it might not look pretty but I was confident it was going to taste great.

I was right.  A sour meatball soup was definitely something new for us to eat at home and I really enjoyed it.  I was frugal with the vinegar, adding only 2 tbsp rather than 4 but it was still enough to give that sour soup taste.   If I’d just been cooking for myself I would have been a little more generous with it.

I made this in January and it was a perfect meal to make when you want something tasty but that makes you feel healthy as well.   This soup is perfect for that.  It’s packed with vegetables and minced turkey is a very healthy meat too.   I used minced thigh rather than breast as thigh meat generally makes moister tastier meatballs or burgers.

I’d never put uncooked rice in a meatball before and I was a little worried that the grains would not cook through or that the meatballs would fall apart but i was worrying for nothing.   There were a few grains of rice in the soup but the meaballs held together perfectly.

So all that remains now is for me to investigate a few more sour soups.  And a of course  a few more of Camilla’s recipes.  I love the sound of the recently published Carrot Pate Canapes and the Za’atar Roasted Rock Cod is an ideal easy fish dish for days when you don’t want to spend too long preparing dinner.

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Sour Turkey Meatball Soup

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

    For the Meatballs
  • 400g minced turkey (I used thigh meat)
  • 1/2 small onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp basmati rice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • For the Soup
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ltr chicken or turkey stock
  • Large handful of kale
  • Handul of parsley, chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix together with your hands before forming into meatballs.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pan. Cook the onion, celery and carrot gently until softened.
  3. Stir in the paprika and add the chicken stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, stir in the kale and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer for 40 minutes.
  6. Stir in most of the parsley and the vinegar to taste then serve topped with the remaining parsley.
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Sweet potato parsnip and potato soup 3

Leftover Roast Vegetable Soup

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Potato Soup

At this time of year we eat a lot of roast dinners, with the biggest of course being Christmas dinner, and it’s a shame to see the leftovers go to waste. Roasted vegetables are at their best when they are freshly made but that’s no excuse not to use them up later.   In fact now that I’ve discovered how well leftover roasted potatoes blend up to make a creamy soup, I’ll now plan to have leftovers more often.   Just so I can make this leftover roast vegetable soup.   It may be traditional to eat leftover turkey after Christmas but why not make this soup too?

Often when cooking it can be tempting to add lots of ingredients, especially herbs and spices to make something taste great.   Of course there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s what I do all the time but with this soup, it really has been pared back to the basics of roasted root vegetables and stock.  Good stock.

essential turkey stockIf you want you can make your own stock and I do admire people who do but for everyday home cooking I prefer the ease of powdered stock as it means I can quickly mix up exactly the amount I need.  For this soup I wanted a Christmas flavour and used Essential Cuisine Turkey Stock and was really pleased with the depth of flavour it added: Rich and tasty but not salty.   As I’m cooking for a family it’s good to know that award-winning Essential Cuisine Stocks contain no e-numbers or added MSG as well as being gluten-free.

Finally I should mention the bacon.  I find root vegetables can be a little sweet in a soup if you don’t balance them out with something salty or bitter.   That’s why the bacon pieces on the top of the soup are so much more than just a garnish. The salty smokiness really adds to the flavour of the soup, even if you only use a little.   If you have leftover sausages wrapped in bacon from your Christmas dinner, they’d also make a great garnish.

Soups are the perfect meal for colder weather:  easy to make, comforting and healthy too.  I like to make enough to last for the next day too which means this is the perfect #CookOnceEatTwice meal for my own Cook Once Eat Twice blogging challenge.

Sweet Potato Parsnip and Potato Soup

Roast Vegetable Soup

Yield: Serves 2 - 4, depending on serving size

Serve with crusty bread as a main meal for 2 or as a starter for 4.

Ingredients

  • Leftover roasted vegetables (I had approximately 2 roasted parsnips, 2 roasted sweet potatoes and 3 roasted potatoes)
  • 500ml Essential Turkey Stock
  • 2 pieces of smoked bacon

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the roasted vegetables.
  2. Put the vegetables and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and chop up.
  4. Put the soup in a blender and blend until smooth or use a stick blender.
  5. Serve the soup topped with the bacon pieces.
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I am also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum, Recipe of the Week at A Mummy Too and Cook, Blog, Share, hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.

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Salmon Miso soup

Salmon Miso Soup

Salmon and miso soup with courgette and sugar snap peas

It may not really be soup weather any more but that’s no reason not to enjoy this healthy vegetable and salmon miso soup for a light easy meal.

Don’t even feel you have to stick exactly to the recipe – any green vegetables would be fine as a substitute.   After all, I looked in my fridge and found courgette and sugar snap peas.   Had I had mangetouts and spring greens, I’d have still made a salmon miso soup.

I don’t use miso very often but I was sent some complementary Mellow Yellow Awase Miso soup and Organic Tamari soy sauce by Yutaka and I really wanted to use them together. I added a little ginger and garlic and also just a few drops of sesame oil at the end for a little extra flavour.   Just be careful not to add too much or it will drown out the taste of the miso.

I made this when my lovely husband was out as he’s not such a big fan of salmon as I am. On nights like that I really don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen so it was even better that this soup was so quick and easy to put together.  I also went to bed feeling smug and healthy, knowing that he may have had more fun on a night out, but I’d feel better in the morning.

Ingredients – Serves 1

1 sachet Yutaka Mellow Yellow Awase Miso Soup

1 tsp Yutaka Organic Tamari Soy Sauce

1 small piece of salmon

1 clove of garlic, finely sliced

Small piece of fresh ginger, sliced into batons

1/4 courgette, cut into thick batons

Handful of sugar snap peas

A few drops of sesame oil (optional)

How to Make Salmon Miso Soup

1. Dissolve the miso soup paste into 200ml of boiling water in a saucepan.   Add the ginger, garlic and soy sauce and then the salmon.   Let it simmer very gently for about 7-8 minutes.

2. Remove the salmon and add the courgette and sugar snap peas to the pan.   Simmer for 2 more minutes.

3. Flake the salmon into a soup bowl.   Ladle the miso soup over the top and add a few drops of sesame oil if you want.

I am linking this to Super Soup, hosted by Jo’s Kitchen and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.  As it contains lots of veggies I am also linking it to Extra Veg, hosted by Veggie Desserts and run by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy.

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Disclosure: I received the Yutaka products for free but the opinions and recipe are my own.

Salmon miso noodle soup

Salmon Miso Soup with Soba Noodles

Salmon miso noodle soup

This is the type of meal you want to make if you are trying to be super healthy.  Just eating, even slurping it makes you feel good.   Healthy salmon, green vegetables and brown soba noodles in a miso broth.  Of course, you could use rice noodles or egg noodles instead but there’s something about brown carbs that just makes you feel virtuous – brown pasta, brown rice, chocolate cake.  Sorry, not all brown carbs, not chocolate cake, chocolate biscuits or treacle tart.  Or anything with caramel in come to think of it.

Oooops.  Now I’m stuck thinking about the wrong kind of carbs. If only they had a different name.  Well, it’s not really a problem for me, I’ve already eaten this lovely soup.  I was virtuous at the time.  It’s you I’m worried about – I don’t want to ruin any healthy eating plans you’ve got before you’ve even started.

For me, this soup was a new challenge.   I’ve made a lot of noodles soups in the past but usually with lots of chilli and garlic in.   This time I left the chillies in the fridge and decided to experiment with miso as I had a jar of Yutaka Oraganic Miso Paste I wanted to try.  I’m definitely not an expert at Japanese food.   It’s probably one of the cuisines I know least about. I rarely cook Japanese food and I don’t eat out at Japanese restaurants very often.   This means I haven’t had many miso soups and so I didn’t want the miso flavour to be overwhelming.

I don’t often do subtle flavours but that’s what I wanted this time so I just used 1 tablespoon of miso paste but you could use more or less depending on how gentle a mood you are feeling in.   I couldn’t be altogether meek and mild though and couldn’t resist throwing in some ginger and garlic and a little sesame oil on the noodles which also added extra flavour.   As I said at the start, you do feel healthy eating this soup, the miso flavour is subtle but it’s still a flavourful soup.  It might have been my first miso soup but it will not be my last.

Ingredients – Serves 2

1 tbsp Miso paste (I used Yutaka Organic Miso Paste)

1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder

Small piece of root ginger, finely diced or grated

1 clove garlic, crushed

150g piece of salmon

5 or 6 mushrooms, sliced

2 large handfuls spinach

Soba Noodles

2 tsp sesame oil

How to Make Salmon Miso Soup with Soba Noodles

  1. Put 600ml water from the kettle into a saucepan.   Add the stock powder, ginger and garlic and bring back to the boil. Lower the salmon gently into the water and simmer until the salmon is just cooked and begins to flake when you touch it with a fork.

  2. At the same time cook the soba noodles according to the pack instructions.  When they are ready, drain them, toss them with a little sesame oil and put them in the bottom of the soup bowls.

  3. Lift the salmon out of the water.   Add the mushrooms and spinach.  Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

  4. Divide the salmon between each bowl. Ladle some of the soup and vegetables into each bowl

I am linking this to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and also to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Souper SundaysTasty Tuesdays

Disclosure: I was sent a free sample of the Yutaka Oraganic Miso Paste

tomato coriander soup (1024x713)

Tomato and Coriander Soup

tomato coriander soup (1024x713) Why is it that now summer has arrived I keep making soup?  I couldn’t tell you.  What I can tell you is that this soup is really delicious, even on a warm day.  It’s also a great way of using up some of those giant bunches of fresh herbs that are so much better value than the small packs.   Some people might object to eating coriander in every meal for 4 days straight but luckily none of those people live with me.

This soup is adapted from my basic tomato soup recipe that I make quite regularly. Although I normally use individual spices when cooking rather than curry powder, this time I didn’t want it to be a strongly spiced tomato soup.  The curry powder just gives it a mild curry flavour that goes really well with the coriander.  Of course, there’s nothing to stop you adding more.

Most recipes are there to be adapted and you can easily vary this soup by using different herbs instead of coriander and missing out or substituting the curry powder altogether. You could even just stick with the plain tomato soup that this was adapted from, although even that has a little basil in.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

400g tin tomatoes

Large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

300ml milk

How to Make Tomato and Coriander Soup

1. Cook the onion in a little oil.   When soft add the curry powder, garlic and the tin of tomatoes.   Add a little water if the tomatoes are too thick.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the coriander and using a stick blender, blend the soup.

3. Mix a tbsp of milk with the bicarbonate of soda.   Pour it onto the soup, followed by the rest of the milk.

4. Simmer for 5 minutes, keep stirring.  There will be quite a few bubbles but they will have disappeared after 5 minutes.

5. Serve with your choice of bread.

I am linking this to Cooking with Herbs at Lavender and Lovage as well as No Croutons Required, hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen.   I am also linking to Elizabeth’s Kitchen’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Cooking-with-Herbsno-waste-food- NEWNo Croutons Required

pizza soup in pan (700x579)

Pizza Soup

pizza soup in pan (700x579)

Sometimes you come across an idea or a recipe and you just know you have to make it.   That was how I felt when I saw Pizza in a Bowl Soup on Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.   Pizza has to be a favourite comfort food and soup is just so warming and healthy when homemade.   The great thing about this soup is that it really does have the flavours of pizza in it.

This recipe also combines two of my favourite easy weekend lunches – homemade soup and cheese melted on toast.   What I hadn’t done before was have them together.  I did adapt the recipe to our tastes.   I used chorizo instead of salami and didn’t put any wine or stock in the soup – there was a  lot of flavour in there already so I didn’t feel it was necessary.  What I did add was a dash of balsamic vinegar.   If you wanted you could also easily make this into a vegetarian soup by leaving out the chorizo and possibly adding a pinch of smoked paprika to get that same smoky flavour.

If only I’d had a bit more time to try and get a good picture.   It was one of those manic lunchtimes where my daughter was screaming and only wanted me, and taking just a few minutes to get a decent picture was just not going to happen.   It may not look great, but trust me, it’s worth making.

pizza soup bowl 2 (700x548)

Ingredients – Serves 2

10cm piece of chorizo

1 yellow pepper, diced

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of black pepper

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Handful of chopped fresh basil

2 slices of bread

Grated mozzarella

How to Make Pizza Soup

1. Put a little olive oil in a sauce pan and cook the chorizo until it starts to crisp up and release more oil.

2. Add the chopped pepper, onion, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until they soften and then add the balsamic vinegar, herbs and chopped tomatoes.   Fill the can 2/3 full of water again and pour the water on top.   Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Take off the heat and stir in the fresh basil and black pepper.

4. Toast the bread and top with the mozzarella cheese.    Put the bread on top of the soup and put the soup bowls under the grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

5. Serve immediately.

I am linking this to Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum.

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carrot ginger soup (1024x595)

Carrot and Ginger Soup with Marmite Croutons

carrot ginger soup (1024x595)

I often think carrot soup can be difficult to get right.  What it needs is something spicy, sour, bitter or salty to offset the sweetness of the carrots. Otherwise I feel like I’ve had enough after just a few spoonfuls.  I’ve had bad carrot soup but I’ve also had soups I’ve wanted to make again straightaway such as this carrot and tahini one.

Even so, when I picked carrot and ginger soup for this month’s Random Recipes I didn’t want to make it.   I waited.   There are always a few recipes I plan to make each month but never get around to.   This month I though it would be the carrot soup.  Then along came National Vegetarian Week from 19-25 May, which made carrot soup so much harder to avoid.   In the end, I gave in and made the soup.

Like so many of these decisions, it turned out to be the right one.  I love ginger and ginger does go so well with carrot.   It was supposed to serve 4 but it only served me, twice. What I also loved about this was the discovery of the Marmite croutons.  They were strongly flavoured, crispy and salty – a perfect match for the carrot.  In fact, it was probably those Marmite croutons that made me love the soup so much in the end.

The recipe was from Eat for Health, edited by Gina Steer.  The theme for Random Recipes was Spring Clean i.e. to choose a book we rarely use and give it a chance to survive before possibly saying goodbye to it.  In this case I think I’d like to give this book a few more chances.

Ingredients – Serves 2-4

450g carrots, chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed or finely diced

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 knob of fresh ginger (about 2cm), finely diced or grated

700ml vegetable stock

4 slices of bread

1/4 tsp yeast extract (I used Marmite)

1 tbsp lemon juice

Black pepper

How to Make Carrot and Ginger Soup

1. Make the croutons first.   Dissolves the yeast extract in about 2 tbsp hot water.  Cut the bread into squares.  Drizzle the liquid over the bread.   Put the croutons on an oiled baking tray.   Bake in the oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes.

2. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onions, garlic and root ginger until they are soft.

3. Then add the ground ginger.   Stir for a minute and then add the carrots and the stock.   Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer for about 15 -20 minutes.

4. Blend the soup until smooth and then stir in the lemon juice.   Season with black pepper and a little salt if necessary.

I am also linking to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

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Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Noodle Soup

 

This year I’ve been trying to cook more larger pieces of meat and save the leftovers for more meals.   Of course, sometimes this means we are just tempted to eat more on the first night, but it also means that I am being a little more economical and more creative with leftovers.

We had slowcooked beef brisket a couple of nights ago and after having some of the leftovers for lunch, there wasn’t much left.   I needed a meal that would make a little bit of beef go a long way, and that is exactly what a soup can do.   I sliced the beef very thinly against the grain along with about 4 times the quantity of vegetables and the finished soup didn’t make us feel like we were being short-changed at all.  I made this just for 2 people but it is easy to increase the quantities and it is the perfect dish to make when you don’t have very much meat but want to feed a crowd.

The vegetables can be varied.   I was also trying to use up what was left in the fridge, which is why there was just a very small amount of red onion in the soup. Don’t feel you have to add onion – I would have added a couple of spring onions if I’d had them.  I also had half a yellow pepper and half a red pepper leftover from another meal, which is why they went in, but use whatever coloured peppers you like.   Because the soup is not cooked for very long, the chillis will not lose much of their heat so you may need to remove some of the seeds.   I like hot food so I usually leave them in, but this will be extremely hot if you leave all of them in.   It’s up to you.

Ingredients – Serves 2

100g leftover beef brisket, thinly sliced

2 nests of dry noodles

1 carrot, sliced thinly with a potato peeler

5 mushrooms, sliced

1 pepper – or halves of 2 different coloured peppers, cut into strips

1/4 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, cut into batons

1 chilli pepper – some of the seeds removed, sliced

Juice of 1/2 lime

400ml beef stock

How to Make Beef Noodle Soup

1. Prepare all the vegetables.

2. Pour boiling water onto the noodles and cook according to the packet instructions.

3. At the same time bring the stock to the boil and add all the rest of the ingredients, apart from a few slices of chilli to garnish with.   Cook for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice at the end.

4. Drain and divide the cooked noodles between two bowls.   Top with the stock and vegetable/beef mixture.

This is a very quick meal to make so I’m linking to Speedy Suppers, hosted by Dinner with Crayons and Feeding Boys and also Family Foodies, hosted by Eat your Veg and Bangers & Mash, which is for meals under 30 minutes this month.  As this soup is a great way to use up leftovers I am linking it to the No Waste Food Challenge, run by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary hosted this month by Cooking around the World.  I am also linking to Extra Veg, hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families and Fuss Free Flavours as this is packed full of vegetables.

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Sausage and Vegetable Soup

With a tin of tomatoes in the cupboard and a few vegetables in the fridge, even ones that are past their best, it’s always easy to make a quick soup for lunch or dinner.   This was the one that I made the other day to go with the soda bread.  If I hadn’t made the soda bread I would probably just have added a tin of kidney or cannellini beans, or even some lentils to the soup to make it filling enough for a  main meal.

I would like to say that I made this to be healthy in January and to increase the amount of vegetables I’m eating.  I didn’t.   I just made it because it was easy and because I love sausage and vegetable soup.  You can use any type of sausage.  You could use a cured sausage like chorizo and I have often done that.   This one just used very ordinary pork and leak sausages and I added lots of herbs, but I would have used Cumberland sausages if I’d had them as I like ordinary sausages to have a bit more flavour, and I think in a soup, the stronger the flavour the better.   You can also change the vegetables to suit whatever you have at the time.

As this is packed full of vegetables I am linking it to Extra Veg, created by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families also to Souper Sundays, hosted by Kahakai Kitchen.  As the soup also used up a slightly soft green pepper I am also linking to the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

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Ingredients – Serves 2-3

3 sausages, sliced

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 green pepper, diced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 bay leaf

How to Make Sausage and Vegetable Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until softened.   Add the sausage and cook until it has browned slightly.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and a little water to cover everything.   Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Serve with fresh bread.

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no waste food challenge

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’d been thinking of making a tortilla soup for a long time when I saw it on Jen’s Journey, the blog I was assigned to this month for the Secret Recipe Club.  Jennifer claimed it was the best soup she had ever eaten so I knew it was going to pretty good.  I had to make one or two changes.  It’s not possible to buy cans of Rotel tomatoes and chillies here, or at least not where I shop, and so I just used a tin of tomatoes and some fresh chillies instead.  I hope that achieved a similar result.   Even if it didn’t, it was very very tasty and a soup that I can easily make again.

chicken tortilla soup (500x379)

Ingredients – serves 2-3

2 chicken breasts

1.5 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

A little salt

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 chilli peppers, sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

Handful of coriander leaf (cilantro)

A little grated cheese (I used cheddar)

500ml water

950ml chicken stock

2 tortillas (I used flour ones), cut into strips or triangles with a pair of scissors

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

1. Mix the chilli powder, cumin, 1 clove of crushed garlic and a  little salt together.    Coat the chicken in a little oil and then sprinkle some of the spice mix onto the chicken.   Rub it in.

2. Put the chicken breasts on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until done. At the same time, bake the tortilla pieces for just a short time each so they go crispy.  Shred the chicken using 2 forks.

3. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion, chilli pepper and bell pepper.   Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the crushed garlic and rest of the spice mix that did not go on the chicken.  Cook for another couple of minutes.

4. To the pan add the chicken, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and water. Simmer for 45 minutes.

5. At the end add some of the tortilla pieces/strips and the chopped coriander.

6. Serve topped with the grated cheese, chopped coriander and more of the tortilla pieces.  You could also garnish with avocado or sour cream.