There are many versions of chicken tortilla soup. Most of the ones we eat in the United States are Americanized. This soup is authentic and tastes like the soup we enjoyed in Mexico. The broth is red, clear and full of fresh flavor. The soup is not heavy but becomes filling with the addition of chicken, queso fresco, radishes, avocado, sour cream and tortilla strips. Enjoy!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
3 dried Ancho chili peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
3 smashed cloves garlic
1 (28 ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups 33% less sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves
6 (6 inch long) stems fresh thyme
3 cups cooked pulled chicken
4 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Garnish: Crumbled queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced avocado, sour cream, and cilantro leaves.
Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies and place in a bowl. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in the microwave and pour over chilies. Soak for 20 minutes. Remove chilies and place in a blender with 2 tablespoons of the chili water. Process until smooth.
Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add can of tomatoes, coriander, and cumin. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
While soup is cooking make tortilla strips. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Brush vegetable oil on each tortilla. Stack tortillas and cut them into ½ inch strips with a knife. Spread strips on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Reserve.
After simmering 30 minutes remove soup from range and pour through a mesh strainer into another pot leaving solids behind in the mesh strainer. Lightly press solids with a spoon to get any remaining broth.
To serve: Place chicken in the center of a bowl. Pour broth around chicken and garnish with queso fresco, sliced radishes, sliced avocado, sour cream, and cilantro leaves. Arrange tortilla strips on top. Enjoy!
Tip: sometimes I don’t strain the soup and leave the tomatoes and onions in the broth. The presentation is not the same but the flavor is!
Published in The News and Neighbor on June 24, 2017