I started making this soup YEARS ago. Like when I was 19. Fast forward fourteen years and it has evolved into something that is more like a stew (or "stoup" as Rachael Ray would say). It is loaded with healthy yummy goodness and topped with yummy unhealthy fatness (moderation is key)! I have lots of memories surrounded by this soup as it feeds large crowds and when my BFF's come up from San Diego to visit me I am always requested to make my soup!
And now I am sharing THE recipe:) Not everything has to be exact. If you like it more meaty, then add more! If you like more veggies, then add more of those! If you like it spicy, add more chile's. It is basically to taste. Just don't be fooled by the small amount of chiles and jalapeno, they pack a whole lotta heat! This is my general guideline...
3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 medium red onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 cups potatoes, diced (I use red, russets fall apart)
2 zucchini's, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 yellow hook neck squash, diced
4-5 tbs tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp chipotle chile en adobo, chopped (I pop the rest in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer for future tortilla soup making. It can easily be cut through frozen as you need it)
1/2 to 1 tsp diced pickled jalapeno (You can freeze and use just like the chipotle chiles)
1 tsp mexican oregano
1/2 to 1 tsp cumin
Toss all these ingredients into a stockpot and cover with chicken base/broth (base has a lot better flavor and I always use Knorr Caldo con sabor de Pollo). Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until carrots and potatoes are done. Salt and pepper as needed. Taste and add whatever you think is needed...more heat? add more chiles. More flavor? Add more tomato paste, chicken base and cumin. When it is done cooking add the juice of one lime and small handful of chopped cilantro.
While it is cooking make some white rice (for the health nuts out there, brown rice does not taste good as an alternative. I suggest moderation for the white rice if your afraid of it!) and fry your corn tortilla strips.
For your toppings you will need:
Fried homemade corn tortilla strips (I have given out this recipe and people have use tortilla chips...DON'T DO IT!)
Shredded jack cheese
Mexican sour cream
To assemble your bowl of deliciousness...Place a couple of spoonfuls of white rice at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle soup over the top. Then top with the toppings!
If you decide to give this recipe a whirl let me know what you think! Just FYI, this soup freezes well so if you have lots of extra then freeze it for a later use.
Hope you all have a great weekend~
PS. I totally just ate that bowl of soup that I took pictures of above...for breakfast!