Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite things. I love the brothy liquid and the mildly warm and zesty taste. For Mexican Food lovers it is the way to go if you are looking for a lighter meal that has tons of flavor. The key to good tortilla soup is the chicken broth you make from scratch – not too time consuming, but well worth the effort.
Chicken is easy to come by, so buy some additional chicken parts or bones – your broth will thank you for it. One tip is to store your chicken bones in the freezer after making a roast chicken, purchasing a whole rotisserie chicken at the store, or after cutting up a fresh chicken for another recipe.
Chicken Vegetable Tortilla Soup really hits the spot on cooler nights when you are craving a little spice. I love to serve this soup during the week and save the leftovers for lunch, they reheat nicely in the microwave.
2 chicken breasts
2 chicken parts – back bones, neck, thighs etc.
5 carrots, divided
5 stalks celery, divided
1 white onion, divided
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
15 ounce can black beans, drained
15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
5 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
1. Slice 3 carrots and celery and set aside. Slice the onion in half and quarter one half, reserve other half for the soup. In a large saucepan, add chicken, sliced carrots and celery and quartered onion. Place over medium heat. Add peppercorns and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat until simmering, lower heat to simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the two chicken breasts and pour the rest of the mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Discard the contents of the strainer.
3. Dice the remaining carrots, celery and onion. In the same pan, add 2 teaspoons of oil and place over medium heat. Add the veggies and saute for 4 minutes. Shred the cooled chicken breasts and set aside.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper, stir. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, black beans and tomatoes, stir to combine. Add the chicken and stir. Simmer the mixture with lid a jar for 20 minutes.
5. Slice the zucchini into half moon pieces. Remove the lid and add zucchini, stir to combine. Continue to cook the soup for an additional 8 minutes. In a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and place over medium high heat. Add the tortilla strips and saute for 4 minutes, tossing as they cook. Remove strips from the pan and blot dry on a paper towel.
6. Dice avocado and slice lime wedges. Ladle soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, fresh avocado and a lime wedge. Enjoy!