Chicken Tortilla Soup

I've been in the soup mood lately. Although it has been a really mild winter in Colorado, soup always reminds me of cold winter days.  This tortilla soup is the perfect soup for a crowd because it's full of flavor, very pleasing to the eye and easy to make! It would be great for a Christmas Eve supper.

                                                                         Serves 6
Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
1.5 cups cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 quart chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tbs canola oil
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 large onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 cup corn
2 cups pinto beans, cooked if using fresh, or if using canned, rinsed well.
4 or 5 corn tortillas, sprinkled with a little olive oil and cut into 1/2 in strips
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, sliced
3 -4 scallions, chopped, green parts only
6 tsp sour cream

Heat 1 tbs oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic and jalapeno. Sautee vegetables for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a soup pot, add broth, water, sea salt, cilantro, corn and chicken, bring to a boil. Turn down heat, add in tomato-onion mixture and pinto beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile,  preheat oven to 375° F. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake until lightly golden and crisp, turning every few minutes. (baking time ~10-12 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool.

Ladle soup in to bowls, garnish with avocado, scallions, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, cilantro and crispy tortilla strips. Enjoy!

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Tortilla Soup

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