Chicken tortilla soup is one of my faves. Until now though, I had yet to perfect my recipe. On Friday I got it just right when I tried Ina Garten's recipe and tweaked it just a little; I love the depth of flavor in the broth of this soup as well as the addition of fresh cilantro and avocado right before serving. This was the perfect thing to have simmering on my stove while I was decorating my tree the day after Thanksgiving, with Downton Abbey on TV.
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 white onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 28-ounce can crushed or chopped tomatoes
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
4 to 6 6-inch corn tortillas
fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
avocado, cut into cubes
grated cheese of your choice
crispy tortilla strips or chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken. Cover and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and add to the soup. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot with the toppings of your choice (I used cilantro, avocado, and grated white cheddar cheese). Enjoy!
(Don't you love my tree?!)