As requested by mimieats. Here is the recipe I use for Chicken Tortilla Soup. I have made this recipe my own with some trial and error, but it originally comes from a wonderful book The Best Soups and Stews. This book tests out different ways of making famous soups, and then comes up with it’s own, unique approach based off of the response they receive from taste tests.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (Doesn’t need to be too fine because it will cook thoroughly. I like bigger chunks)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of chili powder
2 quarts of chicken stock – homemade or other (I use whatever I have on hand)
1 tablespoons of lime juice
1 lime to serve sliced with finished soup
12 ounces of skinless chicken breast 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup of frozen corn 6 flour or corn tortillas, cut in strips (I’ve tried both, and I think I like the corn best)
2 medium avocados, diced
2 cups grated white cheddar, cheddar or monterey jack cheese (I like to use a mixture, but go with whatever I have on hand)
½ cup of cilantro leaves
2 medium jalapenos, seeded and sliced
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and chili powder.
- Immediately add the chicken stock and raise the heat to the mixture comes to a boil. Then, reduce to low.
- Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- Now add the raw chicken breast. Poaching it in this rich broth gives the chicken a delicious flavor. Cover the pot and let chicken cook until it is no longer pink.
- Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. (This is when I often go to bed. I put the chicken (separately) and the stock into the refrigerator and cook the rest the next day. Obviously that isn’t necessary, just easier if you want to get a jump-start on dinner the night before.)
- Raise the heat to about medium (If you are using refrigerated broth, make sure it is completely hot first.) Then, add the tomatoes and corn and let them cook into the broth for about 10 minutes.
- Turn heat to low, and forget about the soup for a little while.
- Heat enough canola oil in a pan to cover the tortilla strips. Once the oil is hot enough (definitely not smoking), add the strips of tortillas and allow them to crisp, turning them over once. Remove with a slatted spoon.
- Now it’s time to serve the soup. Check the soup and make sure the corn and flavors are to your liking. If they are:
- Shred chicken with hands and place a portion at the bottom of each bowl.
- Add the tortilla strips and avocado (I’ve made this before when avocados were close to impossible to find. So, mine were definitely not ripe. I cooked mine in the broth after the chicken was removed.) Ladle the soup on top, and of course add cheese. I also like to add more tortilla strips on top, so there is a variety of a texture. Sprinkle a generous helping of the fresh cilantro, and finish off with your comfort level of jalapenos and squeeze of fresh lime.
If I’m serving this for people, I stop at the cheese and tortilla strips and let everyone add as much or as little of everything else. However, I can’t stress enough not to skip out on the fresh lime at the end. This is what my boyfriend swears by in this recipe.