My grandmother only refers to any soup that tastes even slightly Mexican as "Sopa." You can do that, if you want, and feel all West-Jordan-Authentic.
This makes a ton--you can halve it if you want, but really, just freeze the leftovers and feel all righteous when people ask you to bring some lady dinner when she has sprained her spleen or something. It also tastes better each successive day.
½ c oil--I use olive
¼ c Chicken base (base is different than stock. It looks like a paste. I get mine from penzeys. I have also used Pork stock when I wanted to be faboo.) I suppose you could use stock or powder or granules, but you would have to fiddle with the consistency. I would do at least 1/2 the recommended water to make the stock thicker when you add it.
3 c Diced yellow onions--about 1 1/2 big onions
Cumin--at least 2 T, I just dump a bunch in because I loves me the cumin
Chili powder--same as above
Granulated garlic or garlic cloves all chopped up--same as above
Cayenne pepper--same as above.
***When I am feeling lazy I just pour in Penzey's pork taco seasoning and omit all of the other spices except for the Chili and Cumin. It works better, I think.**
2 c Masa harina--I use Harina Pan, which is finer. I would not use just plain corn meal, though.
4 qt Water (divided)
2 c Crushed tomatoes
½ lb Process American cheese; cut in small cube
3 lb chicken,
Cook and cube chicken.
In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes In another container, combine masa harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauteed onions, bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from masa harina. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally. Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16-20 servings.