Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love soup. I love it for lunch or dinner and in any season. My husband, however and unfortunately, is not such a fan...unless it's this soup: Chicken Tortilla Soup. He also loves cilantro, I do not. So, in this recipe which traditionally calls for cilantro, I use parsley and place a small ramekin of cilantro near his bowl. He can use as much as he wants and I can be free of it. No kidding...if he were to just wave cilantro over my dish that would be too much for me. He says I'll get over my aversion one day, but I think not. ;)


2 whole chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
6 - 8 plum tomatoes, chopped and smashed with their juice (I don't use food from a can, but one could use a 16 oz. can of plum tomatoes with their juice if one wanted to)
1 - 2 jalapeƱo peppers (depending on how hot you want it), seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 fresh corn tortillas (plus more for the homemade tortilla strips)
Ripe avocado


Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their juices, jalapeƱos, cumin, salt, pepper, and the parsley. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add them to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot with a garnish of sliced avocado.

Fill a saucepan or a cast iron pan with vegetable oil to about 1 inch deep and put it on a medium-high heat. Take 6 – 8 corn tortillas and slice them in half, then in quarters, then in eighths, etc. (depending on how thick you want them) lengthwise into strips. Test the heat with one strip and when it’s high enough to sizzle, place a few of the strips in the oil to brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel while you cook the rest in batches. Salt to taste. These are delicious on top of the soup or alone. They’ll go fast!

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