On Thursday night, "Fiesta" kicked off in nearby Santa Barbara. So, going with a Mexican theme, I thought that I'd share a quick recipe for Tortilla Soup. I've adapted it from one that I found in Bon Appetit Magazine years ago. That recipe is wonderful, but it's not a quick evening meal and you can't eat it the next day (the tortillas get very soggy and gross). So, here is my stripped down version that you CAN eat as leftovers. To make it easy, just top it with storebought tortilla chips. However, if you've got a few extra minutes, it really is worth the time to fry your own tortilla strips (see instructions below). Just make a LOT of them.
Quick Tortilla Soup
Servings: 5 servings
½ cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14½ -ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 Tablespoon dried cilantro (or fresh equivalaent)
2½ teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves, chopped into bit-sized chunks
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, grated
Avocados, halved, pitted, peeled & diced
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes with juices; bring mixture to boil. Add broth, dried cilantro, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves; return to boil. Reduce heat; add chicken and cayenne. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove bay leaves.
- Top individual bowls of soup with crushed tortilla chips, cheese, avocado and sour cream..
6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Cut the corn torillas in half and then into thin strips.
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the torilla strips and fry them, stirring frequently. You want them to be golden and crisp. It should take about five minutes. Put them on a paper towel to drain and season with salt.
- Repeat with the other half of the torilla strips.