By Kath Dedon
I can’t believe I haven’t shared this Tortilla Soup recipe before today. It used to appear fairly regularly in my dinner rotation because it was something the whole family enjoyed.
The original recipe is from the 2001 edition of Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best Recipe: Soups and Stews. The folks at Cook’s Illustrated concluded that canned broth works just fine in this recipe which makes it especially quick and easy for a weeknight dinner.
Tortilla Soup is also perfect for easy entertaining. I multiplied it by 1.5 to have enough to serve 9 people on Christmas Eve. It was simple to serve and I think everyone enjoyed it.
When serving the soup, make sure the broth is boiling hot so it doesn’t cool down too much when added to the chicken, avocado, and tortilla strips in the bowls.
(Adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best Recipe: Soups and Stews)
6 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon oil for the soup, plus more to brush on the corn tortillas
1 medium chopped onion (about 1 cup)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 quarts chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus 1 lime cut into wedges
16 – 20 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut in half if large
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 medium ripe avocadoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 medium jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced
½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves (very good, but optional)
If I don’t have homemade broth I use Swanson’s Natural Goodness Broth.
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.
2. Place the tortillas on a large baking sheet and brush with oil.
3. Stack the tortillas and cut in half. Then cut the halves into thin strips.
4. Spread the strips out on the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned.
5. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and starting to brown. This will take about 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds.
7. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
8. Add the lime juice and chicken breasts. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, with the pot partially covered, until the chicken breasts are cooked through. (Cut the largest breast piece in half to see if it’s done.)
9. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Cooked chicken breasts
10. Add the tomatoes to the broth. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
11. To serve, put some tortilla strips, chicken, and avocado pieces in each bowl.
12. Top with hot broth and serve.
13. Pass the cheese, jalapeno peppers, and lime wedges at the table for everyone to add to their soup. (And the cilantro, if you’re using it.)