Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

The first chicken tortilla soup that I really enjoyed came from El Torito. Here is a recipe that I think is very similar. Make it easier by using the tortilla strips you get in a bag at the grocery store. You will usually find them in the produce section.

What You Need

6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeños
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

1 zucchini, diced
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded

3 corn tortillas, cut into match sticks and fried in vegetable oil until crisp. (You may use broken up tortilla chips.) See note below.
1 1/2 cups shredded Jack cheese
8 to 10 slices avocado
Cilantro sprigs

Here's How

In a large pot, combine all ingredients except zucchini and chicken. Season to taste and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Add zucchini, tomatoes and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil, and then simmer 10 minutes.

To serve, warm bowls and heat soup until very hot. Put a handful of tortilla strips in the bottom of each bowl. Add a bit of cheese to each. Fill bowls with very hot soup.  Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.  Makes about 8 cups.

Note: The easiest way to do the tortilla strips is to get a bag in the produce department of your supermarket. They may be labeled as salad toppers. The brand we get is Fresh Gourmet®. I'm sure there are other brands. They make different flavors but the lightly salted ones are best for this recipe. Keep some on hand to add crunch to your salads or vegetables!

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