Whatever you do, don’t let the season pass without making this fabulous Chicken Tortilla Soup!!
I made a large pot earlier this week and we enjoyed it for dinner one evening. “Oh my goodness!” “Wow!” “Amazing!” These were the descriptive words that slipped out with the first spoonfuls. We happily ate the leftovers for lunch every day this week, and the same words were repeated with each meal.
It’s a wonderful soup, with lots of south of the border ingredients; cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Sliced corn tortillas are sautéed with the onions and garlic and later “melt” into the broth adding a delicious, mysterious and authentic layer of flavor.
And then there’s the toppings; tiny strips of crisp corn tortillas, thinly sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and chunks of creamy avocado …………. lots of color, texture and freshness; making a bowl of this soup as beautiful as it is delicious.
So, whatever you do, don’t let the winter pass without making this soup. I promise, you won’t be disappointed, and I think you’ll hear “Oh my goodness!”, “Wow!” and/or “Amazing!” with the first spoonfuls too.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Yield: 8-10
- Ingredients for the soup:
- 6 small corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 bunch green (spring) onions, finely sliced
- 1 ¼ cups finely chopped cilantro, about 1 medium size bunch*
- 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 14½-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (If you can’t find the fire-roasted tomatoes, just use regular, canned diced tomatoes.)
- 10 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 6 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less, to taste
- Ingredients for the crispy tortilla strips:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 small corn tortillas
- kosher salt
- Ingredients for the toppings:
- crispy tortilla strips
- thinly sliced green (spring) onions
- coarsely chopped cilantro
- diced avocado
- For the soup, stack the corn tortillas on top of each other. Cut pile in half. Cut each stack into ¼-inch thick strips, widthwise.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green onions, cilantro, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, paprika. Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until onions are translucent and tender. Add corn tortilla strips and sauté for another two minutes or until softened.
- Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes, maintaining a steady simmer. (Tortilla strips should be melted into the broth by this point.) Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Taste and add a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper and salt as needed.
- Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, sliced green onion, chopped, fresh cilantro, diced avocado and lime wedges.
- For the crispy tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
- Stack and cut tortillas in the same way as directed above in the soup recipe. Place strips on prepared sheet pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and toss lightly with your hands until all strips are coated with oil. Spread out, as much as possible, to a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and toss with a spatula. Redistribute to an even layer and return to oven. Repeat until golden and crisp, a total baking time of 20-30 minutes.
Even if you don’t like cilantro, don’t skip it here. When it’s sautéed, then simmered, it looses all the fresh cilantro taste but adds amazing flavor to the soup!