Chicken Tortilla Soup
Fried tortilla strips add a bit of texture to this easy chicken soup. A garnish of Monterey Jack cheese and sliced avocado finishes off the South-of-the-Border theme.
1 fresh whole chicken
4 1/2 cups water
10 tablespoons vegetable oil - divided use
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 corn tortillas, sliced
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- In a 3-quart saucepan simmer chicken in water until tender*, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken from stock, straining and reserving stock; allow chicken to cool enough to handle. Separate meat from skin and bone, and dice. Set aside meat and stock.
- In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and cook onions and garlic until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken meat, stock and broth, tomato sauce, green bell pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, heat remaining 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) oil. Add tortilla slices, working in batches if necessary, and cook until light brown, 30 to 60 seconds; drain on paper towel.
- Divide tortilla strips among the serving bowls; pour soup on top. Top with cheese and avocado.
Makes 12 servings.