Tortilla Soup, Martha Style

I am a sucker for tortilla soup. I blame my dad. He always gets tortilla soup when he goes to Mexican restaurants – and now I do too!

Tortilla Soup

For the soup

4 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs.)  *I would shred chicken breasts instead*

1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 jalapeno chile, diced (with seeds for more heat)

6 corn tortillas (6-inch)

3 Tbsp. canola oil

Coarse salt

For the garnish

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (5 oz.)

4 large scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced *I don’t eat avocado!*

1/4 cup cilantro sprigs *yum!*

1 lime, cut in wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large pot, bring the chicken, broth, jalapeno, and 8 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; let cool.

2. Brush both sides of the tortillas with oil, stacking them as you go. Cut the stack in half, and then slice crosswise in 1/2 inch strips. Place the strips on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, tossing the strips occasionally, until golden, 15-20 minutes.

3. Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the broth in the pot, and strain the liquid through a sieve into a clean pot (you should have about 8 cups). Shred the chicken with a fork or with your fingers, and return it to the pot. Stir in 1 tsp. salt. Divide the soup among serving bowls, and add the tortilla strips. Garnish as desired.

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