I know I’ve expressed my soup love before, but guess what: can’t stop, won’t stop. I mean, come on! It’s everything you need in one bowl!
So let’s put on some funky socks, then some slippers, and get to stirring a pot full of hearty fall yumminess.
Chicken Tortilla Soup is an awesome way to kick off the season of simmering pots. Just look at all those toppings! Kind of reminds you of those tacos you were eating all summer, right? It’s familiar, yet new and exciting all at once.
It all starts with browning some chicken – skin-on! If you’re worried about fat don’t fret, it doesn’t go in the finished soup. (You should still devour it when you’re shredding the chicken up later, but I’ll try to keep my composure if you choose not to.) Nothing adds flavor like some good ol’ chicken skin. Mmmhm.
Next there is some veggie-sweating, spice-blooming, and one delicious smelling kitchen. The chicken finishes in the oven while the rest of the soup comes together! My favorite part though:
Crisping up tortilla strips! I could fry up and subsequently eat an entire bag of tortillas without batting an eye or feeling an ounce of remorse. They’re just too good. The epitome of crunch!
Store-bought corn chips will work as well, but they can’t come close to the crunch factor of a freshly fried tortilla strip.
Once you’re done with all the soup stirring and eating half of the tortilla strips because you can’t help yourself, it’s assembly time! Ladle the soup into bowls and top with as much or as little of the suggested toppings as you’d like. Or come up with some of your own! It’s your soup! Live it up!
Suggested garnishes: tortilla strips (see below), cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, minced red onion, lime wedges, sour cream, hot sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Warm a large pot for a few minutes over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add it to the pot, skin side down. Brown the chicken well on both sides (a few minutes per side), then transfer to a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake the chicken until it registers 165 degrees internally, 25-30 min.
In the same pot, combine the onion, poblanos, bell peppers, jalapeño, and garlic with a big pinch of salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Next, stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder and oregano; continue stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot along with a huge pinch of salt. Stir well, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes or so. When the chicken is done and cool enough to handle, remove the skin, shred the meat and stir it into the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with the suggested garnishes at the table.
CRISPY TORTILLA STRIPS RECIPE
Fine grain salt
Heat a shallow layer of oil (about 1/2 inch) in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cut the tortillas into strips. To test if the oil is ready, put a little piece of tortilla in the pan. The oil should bubble up rapidly around it, cooking it to a golden brown in a minute or so.
Crisp the tortillas in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan), removing them with a slotted spoon or spider strainer when crispy and golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt before moving on to the next batch.
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