Chock-full of veggies and autumn color, this soup is ideal for using up fresh garden bounty. Add richness by first grilling the chicken and vegetables. —Kathy Averbeck, Dousman, Wisconsin
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1 small onion, cut into wedges
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half (6 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 corn tortillas (6 inches)
- 1/2 cup diced zucchini
- 2 tablespoons chopped carrot
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup spicy hot V8 juice
- 1/3 cup frozen corn
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup cubed or sliced avocado
- 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Brush the tomatoes, onion and garlic with 1 teaspoon oil. Broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-8 minutes or until tender, turning once. Peel and discard charred skins from tomatoes; place tomatoes in a blender. Add onion and garlic; cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
- Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper and salt; broil for 5-6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°. Cut one tortilla into 1/4-in. strips; coarsely chop remaining tortilla.
- In a large saucepan, heat remaining oil. Fry tortilla strips until crisp and browned; remove with a slotted spoon.
- In the same pan, cook the zucchini, carrot, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and chopped tortilla over medium heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato mixture, broth, V8 juice, corn, tomato puree, jalapeno and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Cut chicken into strips and add to soup; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with the avocado, cheese and tortilla strips. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.
Originally published as Chicken Tortilla Soup in Cooking for 2 Fall 2005, p33
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