Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup
Pairs Well With
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium-size onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pure ancho chili powder
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
—Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
—Canola or vegetable oil, for pan-frying
6 corn tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into thin strips
—Juice of 1 lime
To accompany soup: (optional, pick and choose):
1-2 avocados, peeled and diced
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
—Salsa or Pico de Gallo
1 lime, cut into wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add the chicken breasts and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered (don’t let the soup come to a boil), stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just barely cooked through, about 12 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Keep the soup gently simmering over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch into a medium-size skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Line a plate with a couple of paper towels. When the oil is hot, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry, stirring often, until they are crisp and lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the plate, and sprinkle lightly with salt while they are still hot.
Shred the slightly cooled chicken, and stir it and the lime juice into the soup.
Ladle the soup into soup bowls and top with the fried tortilla strips, along with your choice an assortment of shredded cheese, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, salsa and lime wedges will turn a comforting soup into a feast.