Chicken Tortilla Soup

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • For Stock.
  • Chop carcass into pieces.
  • In a large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.
  • Add carcass and cook, stirring often, until well browned. ( I like to use the carcass of a roasted chicken, which I keep in my freezer for making stocks and soups)).
  • Add remaining oil with onions,carrots and celery.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are golden brown; pour off oil.
  • Add thyme,parsley,bay leaf and peppercorns.
  • Stir to blend and add water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, skimming surface as necessary, until reduced to 4 cups.
  • Line a bowl with an extra fine sieve(preferably a chinois) and pour in mixture, pushing solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.( A sieve lined with cheesecloth works great!).
  • Discard solids and skim off surface fat.
  • Refrigerate, tightly sealed, for no more than 2 days, or freeze in small batches for easy use for up to 3 months.
  • For Soup.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Saute tortillas with garlic and epazote (or cilantro) over medium heat until tortillas are soft.
  • Add onion and fresh tomato puree and bring to a boil.
  • Add cumin,chili powder,bay leaves,canned tomato pure'e and chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer.
  • Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste and cook,stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.
  • Skim fat from surface, if necessary.
  • Strain and pour into warm soup bowls.
  • Garnish each bowl with an equal portion of chicken breast,avocado shredded cheese, and crisp tortilla strips.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Soup may be prepared 1 day ahead and gently reheated before serving.