Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love to make soups with layers of flavor and texture. Somehow soup is always a welcoming meal, a go to when I don’t know what else to make, someone is ill or I want something filling, covers all of the food groups and does not pack on the pounds. This recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup is a fantastic amalgamation of several years of finding the “perfect” combination.

2 Chicken Breasts – with bone
1 Medium White Onion - Diced
2 Celery Stalks - Diced
2 Garlic Cloves – Smashed
2 Carrots – Peeled and Diced
1 – 2 Jalapenos – Chopped Finely
1 Cup Tomatoes – Diced
1 Cup White or Brown Rice - Rinsed
6 Cups of Chicken Stock
2 Bouillon Cubes
12 Corn Tortillas
2 Cups Frozen Corn
1 Cup Chopped Green Beans
Jack Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Fresh Cilantro – Leaves removed and coarsely chopped

Chicken – Bring 2 Pots of water to a boil, each pot with 6 cups or so of water. In one pot place your chicken breasts and boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat, rinse and place in the second pot of boiling water. Cook until meat can be easily shredded. Using this 2 pot method gives you a beautiful, clear chicken broth; the first boil eliminates bone fragments, and that nasty brown/gray foamy stuff.

While the chicken is cooking, take a 6 quart Dutch Oven and sauté the onions, garlic and celery in olive oil. When translucent, add carrots, jalapenos, and tomatoes and stir, cook for a minute or so. Add 3-4 tortillas that have been chopped into small pieces and stir. Add your chicken broth and 2 bouillon cubes, green beans, corn and 1 cup of rice. Allow this to cook for 30 minutes.

Cut 6 – 8 tortillas in half, and then slice into strips. Fry these in Safflower oil until crispy and drain on paper towels.

Cool the chicken and shred, add to the soup pot.

To Serve: ladle soup into bowls, add a layer of shredded cheese, crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado and fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy this wonderful layering of fresh flavors, old favs and crispy goodness. This is just too yummy, healthy and totally filling as a main dish.

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