This, super easy red Chicken Tortilla soup is so easy and a perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken - but equally good using freshly poached chicken breasts. It's all about what you have.
The making of Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken. Don't have any left-over? There are options...(don't you love options? I love options). One would be to poach some chicken breasts to shred and use; if using this option please remember poaching 101.
You are poaching, not boiling. Bring some water to a simmer, add some salt, add the chicken breasts, return to a simmer, then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, turn and simmer 5 minutes more. Shut off the heat; cover and let sit for 10 minutes. You should have tender, juicy poached breasts. Let them cool and then shred the meat. Two breasts should be enough, unless you like a lot of chicken in your soup, in which case, poach more. You could also just go buy a rotisserie chicken to use and save any you don't need for another use, say, a Cobb Salad for lunch?
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a great use of leftover rotisserie chicken
Chicken broth, or stock.
Unless I'm making a chicken soup such as chicken noodle, or chicken rice, I don't want the vegetative flavors of celery, carrots, and onions in my stock. When I make stock, I make it simple. Chicken, water, salt, peppercorns, and a bay leaf or two.
That's it. I can doctor it up, but it's almost impossible to doctor it down.
If you are not making your own stock, (and you really should, it's so easy and makes a huge difference in taste); then buy a stock that has chicken and water as its first ingredient. And preferably one that does not have an abundance of vegetables in it. While I'm not a fan of Rachael Ray as a personality, she does produce a good commercial chicken stock. The more common stock is Swanson. Do not buy Kitchen Basics. It is the worst of the worst, and if you've been using it up until now, stop and try something else.
And whatever you do buy, if you are buying, always make it low-sodium.
As Lindy always sez, easy to add salt to, hard to remove from.
Chicken Tortilla Soup would not be Chicken Tortilla Soup without tortilla strips. I like to bake mine, I cut the tortilla in half, then into fairly thin strips, not more than a quarter-inch wide. These are easier to get into your mouth (and isn't that the point?). I spray them with cooking spray (put foil on your cookie sheet whenever you use a cooking spray as the propellant will start building up and make it all sticky and icky) sprinkle some salt and chili powder on top of them...toss and put in a 325º oven for about 10 minutes, or until crisp.
If you like yours bigger, or wider or square, well, it's up to you. Just be sure you use corn tortillas.
And of course, you can always add your own special touches to the soup...corn? rice? hominy? You could even muck it up with cheese if you wanted to.
I choose not.
So now we're ready...let's make some soup.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or diced or however you like them to look, I like to shred into bite-sized pieces
- 1 quart homemade or low-salt chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 poblano peppers seeded and diced (I admit, I cut all my peppers and onion into large pieces and then processed them in my food processor using quick on/off pulses, you just want to chop them do not pulverize them)
- 2 Anaheim California chilis, seeded and diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and diced
- 1 cup diced white onion about ½ large
- ½ cup pico de gallo or salsa
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 - 4 corn tortillas cut into strips and baked until crisp (you could also fry them in oil, but I prefer to bake them)
- Optional Ingredients Optional but good
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- In a Dutch oven or other deep pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat; add the peppers and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and pico de gallo or salsa; simmer 30 minutes. Add the chicken and cook 15 minutes more.
- While the soup is simmering, prepare your tortilla chips. Cut small corn tortillas into half, then into strips. Spray with cooking spray and season with salt and optional chili powder. Toss and place into a 325°F oven; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until crisp.
- Ladle soup into warmed bowls; top with tortilla strips and selected optional ingredients. Ole!