This Chicken Tortilla soup is delicious. It can be all vegetarian or not. I make it this way so I can leave off the Chicken and Chuck can add it on, all he wants. A squeeze of lemon or lime at the end is just perfect. Of course I have to make the fried tortilla strips for the top, I am all about the crunch. I think I have been making my neighbors crazy with all the cooking and the smell of garlic almost everyday floating form my out door kitchen. I can't help myself. This will please the vegetarian or the meat eater in your family.
2 boneless Chicken Breasts that have been precooked, baked or a store bought.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Cumin or more if you like.
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Diced Onion
1/4 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
1/4 Cup chopped light green celery leaves, the ones in the center of the bunch.
4 cloves Garlic, minced
32 oz, Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
1 can ( 10 oz). cubed tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Cups water
1 Can Black Beans, drained
2 Tablespoons Cornmeal
5 Corn Tortillas for the soup
5 or 6 Corn Tortillas for the top of the soup
Grated Jack Cheese for the top of the soup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the cumin, chipotle chile powder, garlic powder and salt in small bowl. Drizzle the first Tablespoon Olive Oil over Chicken Breasts. Sprinkle on some of the spice mix. Save the rest for the soup. Place the Chicken Breasts on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Shred the Chicken when cool enough to handle. Set aside.
Heat the other 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, chopped celery leaves, minced garlic and carrots to the pot and the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine and cook until almost soft.
Pour in the cubed tomatoes and veggie or chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.
Add the black beans and tomato paste and cook on medium low heat for 30 minutes.
Mix the cornmeal with a small amount of water and pour into soup, cook for another 30 minutes.
Taste to see if you need more salt or any other seasoning.
Turn off heat and add the first 5 strips of corn tortillas to the soup, stir in.
Take the other 5 or 6 ( you may want more of these) tortillas and cut them into very small slices. Heat a small amount of oil in a small fry pan and fry until crisp and then take out of oil and add salt. Drain on paper towels.
Ladle the soup into the bowls and add the shredded chicken on top of the soup then the grated pepper jack cheese and top off with cilantro leaves and the crisp tortilla strips. Squeeze on some lemon or lime and enjoy.