Tortilla soup

May 5, 2010

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Serves 4

1 small skinless boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups canola oil (for deep-fat frying)
4 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 cloves garlic, halved
1 small onion, quartered
3 tomatoes, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded queso fresco
1/2 avocado, cut in 1/2-inch slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Habanero hot sauce (for serving)

1. Halve the chicken lengthwise. Rub 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on the chicken; set aside.

2. In a deep-fat fryer or soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add half the tortilla strips and fry for 1 minute or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels. Repeat with remaining strips.

3. In a blender, combine the garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Work the mixture until it forms a puree.

4. Tip the tomato mixture into a large saucepan. Add the salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chicken stock and let the mixture continue cooking for 2 minutes more.

6. In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on a side or until it is firm and cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

7. Shred the chicken and divide it among 4 deep bowls. Add the tortilla strips. Ladle the tomato mixture on top. Add shredded cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with habanero sauce.

Adapted from Cilantro