In my family, chile is a staple that is rarely absent from the table. Chile is important, as it enhances not only our dishes, but our cultural and family connections.
When I was a little girl, my love of the green chile slowly blossomed. I never understood how it could be painfully good. I remember the trip into Santa Fe at the end of each year to buy green chile for my family. I hated peeling that very chile that would be fresh frozen in preparation for the coming season. When my Grandmother, Corine Garcia, and her sister, Cresencia, were alive, they worked hard each year to fill their freezers to the brim. This would ensure plenty of the green chile for our family favorites and, of course, for the love of chicken sopa. I loved my grandma’s chicken sopa, which is literally translated “chicken soup.” This dish is not soup at all, but a unique concoction most likely invented right after a regular chile peeling session.
To read the remainder of Felicia's touching feature and other stories around the recipes we create, you can purchase the book Everything I Eat Nourishes Me
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream of celery soup, sour cream and 2 oz. of shredded cheese. Mix until well combined. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Remove the meat from the chicken and shred with a fork. Add shredded chicken and the green chiles to sour cream and soup mixture. Set half of the chopped chives aside for topping. Add other half to mixture and stir. Cover and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1 oz. of olive oil to a pan set at medium heat. Cook each corn tortilla on both sides for a few seconds. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. In a large, square casserole dish, start the first layer. Take six tortillas and completely cover the bottom. Remove the soup mixture from the refrigerator. Using a large spoon, cover the tortillas with one inch of the mixture. Sprinkle 1 oz. of shredded cheese on the first layer. Repeat the process for two more layers, and then top the chicken sopa with a final layer of the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the edges brown. Cut into squares and garnish with sliced olives.
This recipe was excerpted from the book Everything I Eat Nourishes Me: A Cookbook for Body & Soul
by Aline Fourier. To see more great stories and recipes from this book you can purchase her book at www.alinefourierstudio.com