Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Avocado

Each Sunday night,after a nonstop weekend of cooking by Mike, I ask the boys, “What should we have for dinner this week?”  I ALWAYS get the answer, “Tortilla Soup”.  Of course, this scrumptious recipe started off as Mike’s.  Well to be honest, he just made the recipe right out of the Williams-Sonoma Soup Cookbook.  This is the BEST SOUP COOKBOOK!!!!

Somewhere along the way I took over the making of this dish and made it into my own.  Last week, I posted on Facebook that I was making it for the family.  I got so many requests for the recipe that…well…here it is!

I head over to Raley’s and pick up a roasted rotisserie chicken instead of using raw chicken breasts. 

The secret ingredient I use is Chicken Stock made by Mike.  Nothing beats homemade stock.  This past week he had created an awesome Turkey Stock…so it got used with great success!

Of course, you can never add too much garlic.  After the onion, garlic, and cilantro are browned, I throw them into my food processor.  I like to keep the onions a little chunky. Then add some cumin and toss the mixture into a frying pan for about 5 minutes.  It will get a bit darkened.

Now you’re ready to add the broth and simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, fry up the tortillas strips until they’re brown.

Soups on!

Here is the original recipe from Williams-Sonoma (page 97)

Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Avocado

Makes 4 servings and takes about an hour start to finish.

½ c. plus 2 T. vegetable oil

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic (I use more)

¼ c. plus 2 t. chopped fresh cilantro

1 c. drained canned plum tomatoes (doesn’t matter if they’re whole or chopped)

½ t. ground cumin

4 c. chicken stock or broth

1 skinless boneless whole chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (I use a store roasted chicken)

Salt & Pepper

4 corn tortillas

1 dried chile

1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced (I like strips)

¼ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2 t. fresh lime juice

In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Add the onion, garlic and the 2 teaspoons cilantro and sauté just until golden brown about 10 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the sautéed mixture and the tomatoes and process until smooth.

In the same frying pan over medium-high heat, warm another 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Add the tomato mixture and cumin.  Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and darkened, 5-6 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the stock.  Cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.  Add the chicken and simmer until they are just opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes longer.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the soup is cooking, cut the tortillas in half and slice each half into thin strips.  In a frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the ½ cup vegetable oil.  Drop a tortilla strip in the oil, and if it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.  Drop handfuls of the tortilla strips into the oil and fry, turning with tongs, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the chile until fragrant, about 7 minutes.  Shake the pan often; do not let the chile burn.  Let cool, then crumble and set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls.  Divide the tortilla strips, crumbled chile, the ¼ cup cilantro, the avocado, cheese, and lime juice evenly among the bowls and serve immediately.