I love Mexican food, and I'll often just get some tortilla soup at a restaurant, hoping that the chicken broth and vegetables will be good enough for me to counteract the three bowls of chips I inevitably eat by myself. Sometimes the soups are better than others. This one is excellent and healthy! It also feeds an army, so be prepared to cut the recipe in half, or make room in your freezer. Five people had bowls of soup, and we didn't make a dent in it. It was SO good though, so eating more isn't a problem. I served it with cheesy cornbread muffins and pineapple margaritas, and all of the recipes were from Ina Garten. I followed her recipe exactly, except I didn't have coriander, so I left that out. I would definitely make this again!
Mexican Chicken Soup
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
kosher salt and black pepper
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes in puree
2-4 jalalpenos, seeded and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional, if you're one of those people who doesn't like it)
For serving: sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced avocado, and tortilla chips
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium low heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots, and cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, one tablespoon of salt (depending on the saltiness of the stock), one teaspoon of black pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Tear the tortillas in half; then tear them into 1/2" strips, and drop into the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot, topped with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and broken tortilla chips.