If you get hit by the bug & want something a bit more interesting than the traditional chicken soup then I've got the recipe for you!!! It's become a family favorite --- note to self...make a DOUBLE batch! I'd love to claim as my own but must give due credit to America's Test Kitchen. Even my picky eater (that's him with Cesar) wants seconds of this warm & spicy southwestern soup.
You may use some leftover chicken or shred one of the rotisserie chickens available at the supermarket.
Before I send you to the soup recipe let me note a NEW recipe that I tried this past weekend. Moroccan Chickpea Stew was a winner with my daughter Sara & her fiance'. This won rave reviews from them & will definitely be a keeper in my recipe go-to file!
Thank you anodyne designs for this great new recipe!
Tortilla Soup from America’s Test Kitchen Despite its somewhat lengthy list, this recipe is very easy to prepare. If you desire a soup with mild spiciness, trim the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno (or omit jalapeno altogether) and use the minimum about of chipotle in adobo sauce (1 teaspoon, pureed with the tomatoes in step 3). Our preferred brand of low-sodium chicken broth is Swanson’s Natural Goodness. If advance preparation suits you, the soup can be completed short of adding the shredded chicken to the pot at the end of step 3. Return the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat before proceeding. The tortilla strips and the garnishes are best prepared the day of serving.
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into ½-inch strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds) (skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat)
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs epazote, fresh, or 8-10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
2 medium tomatoes, cored & quartered
½ medium jalapeno chile
1 chipotle chili en adobo, plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Hass avocado, diced fine
8 ounces cotija cheese, crumbles, or Monterey Jack cheese, dices fine
Fresh cilantro leaves
Minced jalapeno pepper
Mexican crema or sour cream
FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through baking time. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several paper towels.
(Note: You may want to make extra strips!)
FOR THE SOUP: While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and ½ teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeno, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture had darkened in color, about 10 minutes. (This is when I go crazy because the smell is so absolutely WONDERFUL!) Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.