Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup
adapted from Food Network chef, Tyler Florence
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
1 quart chicken stock, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil, for pan-frying
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced I don't like avocados, so I omitted them)
1 cup shredded Jack cheese, optional we used mozzarella because it's what I had on hand
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving
Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes; cook, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.
Ladle the hot soup into 4 soup bowls and put a pile of shredded chicken on top of each. Top with the diced avocado and fried tortilla strips (and cheese if using). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Servings: about 6
I didn't fry the tortilla strips in a pan as the recipe suggests. Instead, I put them on a cookie sheet, and sprayed them with non-stick cooking spray. Then I sprinkled some cumin and cinnamon on the strips, and put them in the oven at 400 degrees until they were brown and crispy.
The recipe probably would have stood fine on it's own, but since this was our main course, I wanted something a little more hardy. I cooked up one cup of jasmine rice and added it to the soup so that it would be more filling. The addition turned out great.
I would also suggest that you not skip the lime garnish if you make this. We squeezed the lime into the broth before eating and it gave the soup an extra tang. It was really delicious.
The soup was relatively easy to make, even though it says it's "Intermediate" level on the FN website. The most time consuming part was chopping up all the vegetables to add to the chicken stock.