Somehow I snapped this photo without the avocado garnish, which is one of the other things that makes this soup so yummy!
I have a backlog of recipes to post that are regulars in our house. Ages ago I embedded a link in a post to a chicken tortilla soup recipe - it was the first time we'd tried it. We've made our (simpler) version of this soup more times than I can count now. The thing that makes it, though? Blake's homemade chicken stock. Really, it's worth it to make your own if you have the chicken carcasses on hand.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped (Emeril suggests a other, spicier peppers as well, but Anna doesn't like hers too spicy)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp tomato paste
6 cups homemade chicken stock (recipe below)
1 pound chicken breast meat, shredded or cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, pepper(s), salt, cumin, and coriander, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice and stir well.
Serve with sliced avocado on top and tortilla chips on the side.
Blake's Homemade Chicken Stock
This is just a place to start...if you need more or less, it's easy to adjust amounts. We always make a lot, though, as it freezes well.
3-4 lbs. chicken carcasses
1 large onion, split in half
2 large carrots, halved
2 celery stalks, halved
3-4 garlic cloves, left whole
6-8 black peppercorns
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
Place peppercorns, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme in a small square of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen twine. Put this along with all other ingredients into a large (12 qt.) stockpot. If you're short on time, just throw the herbs/spices straight into the pot - they'll be strained out later. Cover with water (about 8 qts.). Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down and simmer stock on low for 4-5 hours. Strain stock first through a colander (to get bones and big chunks out), then through a fine mesh strainer. Let cool (preferably overnight) and skim fat off of top before using. Makes approximately 3 1/2 to 4 quarts.