I’m so excited that the weather is finally starting to cool down. I don’t know about the weather where you are, but here in Kansas things have been, well, HOT. And then hot a few days more. Many cities approached or broke records for the number of 100-degree days. I think it’s a little sad when I started getting excited about the weather report… “Hey, it’s only supposed to be 90 tomorrow!!!”.
Now, things have begun to cool down a little. Most nights the low is around 40-50 degrees, and it makes for beautiful fall evenings. “Soup weather”, I call it. And it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year!
Chicken Tortilla Soup is so simple, yet so tasty. It doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary, so you can probably make it just about any day of the week without having to make a special trip to the grocery store.
Start by cooking your chicken breasts. I like to cook them in the chicken broth that I’ll use for the soup. Most of the time, I buy bouillon because it is far cheaper than cartons or cans of broth. To cook the chicken in the broth, put 5 cups of water to boil on the stove. Once it starts boiling, add 4 teaspoons of bouillon and the chicken breasts. After the chicken is cooked, take them out and let them cool. We like small chunks of shredded chicken rather than cubes. If there is any fat in the broth, now is the time to skim it off and dispose of it.
Add the chicken with the other ingredients into the pot with the broth. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it cook until the onions are done.
To make the soup just a little bit more special, I like to bake up some tortilla strips. Take regular tortillas and cut them in any shape you desire. Make sure that you make more than you think you will need. My husband eats one or two with every bite of soup, and my 2 1/2 year old loves to eat them plain!
Grease a baking sheet and put the tortillas on top. Spray the tortillas lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and maybe a little cumin.
Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are light golden brown.
Top the soup with tortillas, cheese, and some fresh cilantro (or in our house, lots of cilantro!).
Cook chicken breasts, either in a pan with a little canola/vegetable oil, or boil in chicken broth. Let cool and cut or shred into bite-sized chunks. Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until onions are translucent. Garnish with tortilla chips, cheese, and cilantro if desired.