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Chicken tortilla soup with avocado is a dish from the Southwest that, typical to Southwestern cuisine, uses Mexican ingredients. Avocado is not always added, but it adds a fresh, creamy element to complement the soup's usually spicy broth and crisp tortilla strips. This dish can also be stewed for a few hours on low in a Crock-Pot to help develop the flavors. It's a hearty soup that can serve as a full meal instead of just a starter.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1⁄2 cup chopped green chili
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
- 2 cups peeled chopped tomatoes (if using canned, do not drain)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lime
- 6 corn tortillas, almost stale
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1⁄2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (optional)
- Saute the chicken breasts on both sides in a skillet until cooked. Let the chicken cool and then shred it.
- Pour the olive oil into a large soup pot and saute the onion for a few minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, chicken, corn, green chilies, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, bay leaf and lime juice. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- Prepare tortilla strips while the soup is cooking. Older tortillas will dry out more quickly and remain crisper in the soup. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray or brush both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil. Slice them into thin strips. Spread the strips across a cookie sheet, and bake them for about 10 minutes until they're all crispy, stirring halfway through cooking time.
- Serve the soup in bowls, discarding the bay leaf. Peel, pit and chop the avocado, and sprinkle it into the soup along with the tortilla strips and cheese. Alternatively, place the tortilla strips in the bowl first and serve the soup over them.
- TIPS & WARNINGS: If you have only fresh tortillas, you may need to bake them in the oven longer. Alternatively, you can deep fry both older tortilla strips and fresh tortillas strips that have been dried out in the oven. Drain the fried strips on paper towels before adding to the soup.