Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

I love soup!  What’s even better is that my family loves soup.  Nothing beats that crisp fall or winter night with a loaf of homemade bread and a cup of vegetable soup.  Nothing that is except a bitter cold winter night and a whole bowl of my homemade tortilla soup.  Last night was one of those nights when I looked at the clock and knew I had to throw dinner together quick.  You see my husband and I decided that if we were ever going to get organized then we needed at least a rough schedule to follow.  Well, we wanted dinner as close to 5:00 as possible and it was already 5:03!  If we were going to eat at a decent hour I had to act fast.  Tortilla soup sounded fantastic but the recipe that I have made for years takes a long time.  Time that I simply did not have.  So I played around with some frozen chicken and our summer pantry of garden canned goods (tons of work, but worth every ounce of effort…but that is another blog).  This is what I came up with.  And let me just say that the fam rated it the best Tortilla Soup ever.  With a tortilla soup, it is difficult to satisfy the spicy palette of hubby and also please the littles.  This soup did both, however.  It was quick, easy, and packed with rich flavor.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

6 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 pounds Chicken, diced
1 Medium Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Quarts Water
8 Chicken Bullion Cubes
1 Lg Can of Crushed Tomatoes in thick puree
1 Quart of Italian Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 of lightly packed Cilantro Leaves (Dried cilantro can be used, be sure to read the equivalent measurement on the container)

Toppings: Diced Avocado, Grated CoJack Cheese, Sour Cream, Tortilla Chips, Lime Wedge

1.In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium high heat and cook the chicken until it is just about cooked. Turn the heat to medium low and add onion, garlic, and spices.  Continuously stir for about 5 minutes. Do not drain.
2. Add the water, bullion cubes, tomatoes, bay leaves, and cilantro.  Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves.
3. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.  Top with cheese, sour cream, broken tortilla chips, avocado, and a squeeze of lime.   Enjoy!

***This soup is not spicy.  If your guests would like it a bit spicier, sprinkle a little more chili powder in their bowl!

This made enough for 2 meals but since everyone had seconds I will have to make something else for tomorrow!

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