Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite things because of 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, so I prefer to make mine from scratch – it’s not too time consuming, and well worth the effort.
Chicken is easy to come by, so buy some additional chicken parts or bones – your soup will thank you for it. One tip is to store chicken bones in the freezer after preparing roast chicken of any kind, or from purchasing a whole rotisserie chicken at the store. Plop chicken breasts and parts into water with a few carrots, celery pieces and an onion and cook for 30 minutes, and great broth will appear. Don’t forget to season it with a little salt and pepper too.
This soup really hits the spot on any evening, but especially when the temperatures begin to drop and you’re craving a little warmth. The leftovers are fantastic for lunch and 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 teaspoon 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, set aside. Slice onion into quarters, reserving 1 quarter for soup. In a large pot over medium heat, add chicken breasts and parts, sliced carrots, celery and onions. Add peppercorns and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat until simmering, lower heat to simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
2. Remove chicken breasts and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Discard contents of strainer.
3. Dice remaining carrots, celery and onion. In pot, add 2 teaspoons of oil and place over medium heat. Add veggies and saute for 4 minutes. Shred 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 broth, black beans and tomatoes, stir to combine. Add chicken and stir. Simmer soup with lid slightly a jar for 20 minutes.
5. Slice zucchini into half moon pieces. Remove lid and add zucchini, stir to combine. Continue to cook soup for 8 minutes. In a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and place over medium high heat. Add tortilla strips and saute for 4 minutes, tossing as they cook. Remove strips from 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!