Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is something that I’ve been making for many years. Hearty, fresh, delicious and super easy to make, it’s my go-to soup when I have left over chicken.  Best of all, the family loves it.  Here’s my recipe for chicken tortilla soup.  I don’t measure anything, so everything below is approximate.  Please adjust to satisfy your taste.

1 cup left over cooked chicken meat (skin removed)
1tbsp. olive oil
6 mini sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
12 grape tomatoes, halved
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested Toppings:
Shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, etc)
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
Tortilla strips (see recipe below)
Jalapeño salsa (see recipe below)
Lime wedge
Avocado slices

Tortilla Strips:
Corn tortilla strips
Non-stick canola spray
Taco seasoning

Directions:  Stack 8 corn tortillas and cut into thin, strips.  Spread evenly on cookie sheet, spray with canola oil, sprinkle dry ingredients onto tortilla strips, bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

Jalapeño salsa:
4-5 jalapeño peppers, seeded and halved
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, trimmed stems
5 basil leaves
5 mint leaves|
1/4 cup olive oil to start (add more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste
juice from 1 lime
Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and add enough oil to make a smooth consistency.

Directions for soup:
Combine chicken, onion, peppers, olive oil and brown over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth and rest of soup ingredients. (I usually hold the tomatoes back until the very end). Bring to boil, then simmer for 45 minutes- 1 hour.

Ladle hot soup into bowls, top with suggested toppings and serve.

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