This is one of my all time favorite recipes, in fact, I love it so much that I chose it as one of the three recipes for the fall issue of Santa Barbara Dining & Destinations shoot. Not only does it taste great, but all the toppings make it very beautiful. Family & friends always like it and it really is a perfect meal for the fall. This was my third issue of D & D and my second time working with the wonderful photographer Matt Dayka. I love his work!
Nancy’s Tortilla Soup (serves 6-8)
6 cups chicken broth
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
2 TB chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
2 TB olive oil
3 chicken breasts
salt & pepper
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large poblano chile, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
6 corn tortillas
1 TB peanut oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
1-2 avocados, sliced
extra cilantro leaves for garnish
2 limes cut into wedges
Pour cold chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, chopped cilantro and lime juice into a large soup pot, set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 TB olive oil on medium high. Pat dry chicken breasts and place in pan to sautee. Add a little salt and pepper. Brown on both sides until almost done, pull out, place on plate and set aside until cool. In the same skillet, add 1 more TB of olive oil, heat to medium high and add onion, red bell pepper, and poblano chile. Sautee until onion is translucent, then add garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook for about a minute. Transfer veggie mixture into soup pot. Chop up chicken into bite size pieces and add to pot and mix everything together. Before you turn on your stove burner, transfer about 3-4 cups of cold soup mixture into a food processor along with 3 corn tortillas. Blend until it is fully pureed. Transfer back into the big pot and turn on medium high. Bring to a rolling boil then lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes. The corn tortillas thicken up the soup and add a nice flavor. Take the remaining tortillas and cut in strips. In a clean skillet, add 1 TB of peanut oil and fry strips on high until brown. Place on paper towel to soak up oil, set aside. After soup is done, serve in bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, red onion, cheese, avocado slices, cilantro and lime wedges.
Please note: You may use 4 cups fresh chopped tomatoes with juice to replace canned.