Inspiration: Home from Europe with a completely bare pantry, I sat down to make a grocery list and B immediately requested this soup. I absolutely love when he requests anything specific for dinner, so I added it to the menu for our first meal back in the States :)
What we Loved: I’ve made chicken tortilla soup many times over the years. I got my original recipe from allrecipes.com, and it’s been one of those recipes that I’ve made a little bit differently every time because I’ve never been completely satisfied with it. This time, I think that I finally found the recipe that I’m going to keep. This soup is very easy to make, and it has a nice, slightly spicy tomato flavor. It’s very hearty, especially with the addition of avocado cubes, pepperjack cheese cubes, and tortilla chips. My favorite thing about this soup is the creamy contrast of the avocado cubes with the spicy flavor of the soup and the chicken. I photographed this soup before adding the tortilla chips because I didn’t want them to get soggy as I took pictures, but the tortilla chips are of course an essential part of the soup. B particularly loves eating a bunch of chips with his soup, and I really love the added crunch, too.
Helpful Hints: You can certainly cook your chicken any way that you want to for this soup, but I think it adds a great flavor to season the chicken, grill it, and then slice it up before adding it to the pot. In the past, I’ve poached the chicken and shredded it, which is a bit easier, but I’ve really moved away from that method of cooking because I feel like it completely takes away all of the flavor and moisture of the chicken. This time, I seasoned my chicken with just salt and liberal amounts of cracked black pepper before grilling, but next time I’m also going to rub it with cumin and chili powder for a nice crust.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: Adapted from Allrecipes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned to preference, grilled, and cut into small pieces
1 vidalia onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
2 14.5 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Avocado, pepperjack cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, for garnish
1. In a dutch oven or pot, add a drizzle of olive oil, and heat over medium heat. Add the diced onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.
2. Add the chicken, diced tomatoes, green chiles, tomato sauce, and chicken broth to the pot. Season with the cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 30+ minutes.
3. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top with cubed avocado, cubed pepperjack cheese, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of black pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.