I have never been a soup person, that being said, yummm tortilla soup. We are having a little false summer here (I know, we jumped from polar vortex to mini-heat wave) and I am starting to break out, tentatively, the rose, strawberries, and avocados (it's still a little early for fresh tomatoes). I will try to post something springy next, but in the meantime, enjoy some tortilla soup.
I easily ignored the urge to make my own tortilla strips and happily reached for my always-on-hand bag of Have'a Corn Chips.To begin saute 1 chopped onion until it starts to get a little yummy and brown. Add in 4-6 cloves of smashed garlic along with 1 tablespoon each, paprika and cumin, 1 heaping teaspoon coriander and chili powder and a healthy dash of cayenne. Let the flavors marry for a few minutes before adding in a quart of chicken stock and one 28-oz can of tomatoes. Add a cup and a half of extra liquid whether you choose water (I often do), extra stock or a can of beer - it's up to you. Toss in a couple of bay leaves, a couple teaspoons of salt, a half bunch of roughly chopped cilantro, and a couple handfuls of slightly crumbled tortilla chips. Let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can be working on your chicken. I used a half chicken but go with what suits you. I just did a super simple preparation for the chick-a-dee - season the meat with salt and pepper, sear in a cast iron skillet until skin is golden and then pop into a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked through. Once the soup mixture is done cooking, puree and serve. I like to put the shredded chicken on the bottom of the bowl and pour the soup over it - topping it off with some shredded cheddar, fresh cilantro, chopped avocado. I also like to eat the crispy chicken skin while i shred the meat.