Happy October! I can’t believe it’s already fall, but I’m definitely not complaining. I’m looking forward to chilly weather, warm clothes and hearty meals…oh, and all things pumpkin. Soup is one of my favorite meals during the fall/winter, so I’m kicking off this month with a classic chicken tortilla soup. This recipe is hearty, delicious and healthy–well, healthy sans the sour cream and tortilla strips. :)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached then shredded
Salt and pepper
2 cups yellow onion, chopped (2 onions)
1 cup celery, chopped (2 stalks)
2 cups carrots, chopped (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 qt. chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 tbsp. ground cumin, plus more or less, to taste
1-2 tbsp. chili powder, plus more or less, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Sour cream, for topping
Cheddar cheese, for topping, if desired
6-8 corn tortillas
Heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heart for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, 1 tbsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and the cilantro.
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season, to taste.
Cut the tortillas in half, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry a handful of tortilla strips at a time, turning occasionally, until crispy and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Repeat with the rest of the strips. Drain tortilla strips on a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve the soup hot and top with a dollop of sour cream, homemade tortilla strips and grated cheddar cheese, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Food Network.