Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love hot soup on a cold January day. This soup comes together quickly and is easily reheated. I like my food on the spicy side, but you can downscale the heat if you prefer. And, weird or not, I prefer my soup in a large mug instead of a soup bowl, but to each his own, right? Mark is not a big soup lover, especially if beef isn't involved, but he ate two bowls of this! Everyone can customize their own bowl – avocado, cheese, sour cream, green onions and tortilla strips.

The spices from The Spice House arrived fresh and quickly. It was fun to choose spices I haven't used before and play around with them. If you like to cook like I do, then having new “toys” to play around with is like a party.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
by Sharyl

4 chicken breasts (bone-in for the best broth)
8 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium onion, halved
4 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil, divided
2 seeded jalapenos, diced
1 can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes (don't drain)
1/2 teaspoon The Spice House New Mexican Green Chili Powder
1 teaspoon The Spice House Aleppo Pepper
2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half

1 avocado, sliced
6 Corn tortillas, yellow or white
Mexican or cheddar jack shredded cheese
Sour cream
Green onions

In a large pot, add the chicken and water to cover – about 8 cups. This is the base broth for the soup. Add the salt and pepper and 1/2 of the sliced onion. Cook on low to medium heat until cooked and tender, about 45 minutes. Remove chicken and strain the broth into a bowl to use a little later in the process. 

Add 2 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil to the chicken pot. Dice the other onion half and the seeded jalapeno peppers and saute until tender. Add can of Ro-Tel Tomato, New Mexican Green Chile Powder, Aleppo Pepper, 2 cans of chicken broth and the chicken broth made from the chicken breasts. Simmer about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the soup pot. Add the cilantro and heavy cream and simmer until soup is hot. Salt to taste before serving. 

While the soup is simmering, add 2 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil to a small fry pan. Slice the tortillas into strips and when the oil is hot, fry the strips until crispy. Use these as a crunchy topping.

Serve with shredded cheese, crispy tortilla strips and avocado slices, sour cream and green onions.

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