Sunday Soup

It has been a whirlwind weekend, beginning with a 5 hour drive to Saint Louis Thursday night, followed by a victorious Cardinals baseball playoff game Friday, a 7AM flight to Cleveland for our friend’s wedding Saturday, and then back to Chicago today.

As tired as I was from all the excitement and traveling, I knew I wanted to start my week right with something tasty to bring to work for lunch. With the new chill in the air after the past few weeks of gorgeous weather, a warm soup will really hit the spot.

To get me through at least the first half of the week, I made a pot of Mexican Chicken Soup. The recipe packs tons of vegetables and chicken into one bowl, making it a hardy and healthy meal. Plus, I love that you can doctor it up with a little cheese, avocado and/or tortillas chips to make it even more complete.

Shredded chicken, ready to be added

Tortillas strips, pre-frying

Tortillas strips, post-frying

Ready to serve

Lunch is served

Mexican Chicken Soup

Source: Ina Garten

What You Need

  • 4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2½ quarters chicken stock
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
  • 2 to 4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • ¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 3 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon of salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and cilantro, if using.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  7. While soup is simmering, in a separate frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add tortillas strips and fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
  8. Once soup has simmered, add the shredded chicken and season to taste.
  9. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar and the tortillas strips. I also found a squeeze of a lime wedge adds a nice tang.

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