I used to have a different recipe for this soup but it wasn’t quite right. There was something missing and I didn’t even know it until I made this version. It’s Ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup from her Barefoot Contessa at Home Cookbook. I stuck fairly close to her recipe but did make a few changes. The missing key to my soup was adding the corn tortillas to the soup itself. They melt away after 30 minutes or so but they leave the soup thicker and with a wonderful corn flavor. I served this to company last night and we all loved it. My son gobbled it up in no time and I must admit, I wanted seconds. It’s a nice hearty soup that’s full of flavor – perfect for a rainy day. I really enjoyed the crunchy corn tortilla strips, soft avocado & salty cheese toppings.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
- 3 cups of chicken broth or water
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, diced finely
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and gently boil for 20 minutes. Let the chicken breasts cool then shred with two forks.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups of onion, diced
- 1 cup of celery, diced
- 2 cups of carrots, diced
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (more if you want spicy)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock (I used homemade)
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp of cumin (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp ground coriander seed (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
- 6 fresh white corn tortillas
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeno, tomatoes, broth, cumin, coriander, sea salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Cut the 6 corn tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2 inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the corn tortillas have melted away. Add the chicken, taste and re season if needed.
Corn tortilla strips:
- 5 corn tortillas
- Cooking spray
- Sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Spray each side of all the tortillas & lay in a pile. Cut into thin strips & spread across the baking dish then season with sea salt. Bake in the oven until golden brown – watch them carefully because they burn easily. It usually takes about 3-5 minutes.
- 1 – 2 avocados, diced
- Cotija cheese, grated
- Fresh cilantro (remainder from above ingredients)
Ladle soup into large soup bowls. Add some avocado, tortilla strips, a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!