4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2½ quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
These chicken breasts were HUGE so they made for a very hearty soup.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
This is only a small portion of the needed carrots, celery, and onions, otherwise known as a mirepoix.
Four cloves of garlic needed to be minced. This required patience!
Wearing latex gloves was necessary to take out the seeds and mince 3 or 4 jalapeño peppers. Fortunately, I have a big box of those gloves, which I use to apply anti-tick medication on Lizzie. They come in very handy – so to speak – when a recipe calls for jalapeños!
These crushed canned tomatoes smelled so good – almost as if they were fresh!
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using.
After a lot of chopping, mincing, and shredding, the base was finished.
Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into ½-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Here the tortillas already have been added and now it is time to add the shredded chicken.
Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips. Add a wedge of lime floated on top.
I cheated big time and didn’t make the guacamole but instead, I ordered it from the tried and true Fresh Direct. I served the guacamole with a big bowl of chips. I had thought of serving a baguette but with the tortillas in the soup I think the chips and guacamole on the side was a much better idea.
Instead of flowers as a centerpiece, I filled an old Georg Jensen silver bowl with all kinds of peppers.
By the way, this soup was absolutely delicious – I would definitely make this recipe again…even with all that chopping, shredding and mincing! Definitely worth the trouble!