Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I was first introduced to this soup when I was in Guatemala with my parents and husband. I was pregnant with my first baby, and I really had no idea how to curb morning sickness. I was skimping on meals because I was so nauseated (of course the complete opposite of what I should  have been doing!) and eating nothing but wheat thins crackers. By the end of each day, I was completely exhausted and super sick. About a week into the trip, after a long and winding drive up the mountains to Quetzaltenango, we arrived at the most charming little hotel. They served the most delicious homemade, thick hot chocolate upon our arrival. I wish I could recreate that!!  But they also made us a very tasty chicken tortilla soup. It was so soothing and nourishing, I've been a huge fan of it ever since. I'm sure there's was more involved in their recipe, but this is my version:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

8 cups chicken broth

2 (15 oz) cans tomatoes with green chilies

1 (15 oz) can black beans (pinto is great, too)

1 (15 oz) can corn

1 (15 oz) can hominy (optional)

1/4 cup green salsa (I like Herdez the best)

1 TBSP cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

 

Toppings:

4-8 TBSP chopped cilantro (your preference)

juice from 1 lime

Chipotle or Jalapeno Tabasco (to taste, optional)

1 avocado

tortilla strips or chips

light sour cream  (optional) (plain greek yogurt is a great substitute for this)

shredded Colby jack cheese (optional)

 

Instructions:

You can do this on the stove, but my favorite way to make it is in my pressure cooker. It's super convenient because I can throw my chicken in frozen. Look up the cooking time and pressure for your appliance. I have the "Power Cooker" - the knock off "Instant Pot", so my buttons and times are a little different. If using a crockpot, thaw your chicken first. This is also very fast and easy if you have chicken that is already cooked.

Whatever method you are using, start out with the chicken, chicken broth, canned ingredients, cumin, and garlic salt. Boil, or slow cook or pressure cook until the chicken is cooked through. You can either shred the chicken or cube it. 

I used to add chili powder or jalapenos to the soup, but some of my kids don't like the heat. This is where the tabasco comes in wonderfully. Those of us who like the heat can add it on as much as we want. My husband likes the Chipotle flavor the best, and I like the green jalapeno.

Then add your toppings. For me the avocado is essential to the soup. It's just not the same without it. If I have leftover guacamole, I'll use that instead of plain avocado. 

There are often times we don't have chips in the house, so we will slice up corn tortillas into strips and toast them in the toaster oven or regular oven (on a baking sheet with cooking spray and salt) until they are golden and crunchy. I actually prefer doing this because it's so much healthier. 

This is also a great recipe when I am serving my gluten free/dairy free family and friends. The dairy toppings are optional, and as long as you make sure your chicken broth is gluten free, you are good to go. 

Super easy and so delicious. I hope it soothes your soul as much as it did mine. If you love it, please share this with your friends!!