I am so excited to share my favorite Mexican style soup: Tortilla Soup! It’s such a flavorful dish on its own but once you add a little lime juice, cilantro, and the crispy tortilla toppers it just brings out all kinds of delicious flavors. When I would see it on the menu I always wondered what actually went into making tortilla soup and thanks to Paula Deen I was able to begin making, and enjoying, this at home!
I have found the key to making your chicken even more delicious is the preparation of the vegetables to make the broth in which the chicken is cooked in. The cumin mixed with a pinch of chili powder brings out the savory flavors that you love in a Mexican dish such as this.
Chicken breasts (cut away any fat)
3 qts water
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1/4 butter (you know Paula loves her butter!)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (to your taste)
garlic, minced (to your taste)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt (to taste)
lime juice, lime quartered and added to your taste
- Begin by placing your quartered yellow onion, chopped celery, water, and chicken breasts into a dutch oven or cooking pot. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken is tender and cooked all the way through. If you want more of a chicken flavor, substitute chicken stock instead of water.
- Allow chicken to cool slightly then shred in a separate bowl. Strain the vegetables from the broth, reserving the broth and discarding the cooked vegetables.
- In the same dutch oven, begin to heat butter over medium-high heat. Add your chopped sweet onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and garlic. Cook about 6 minutes or until tender. You don’t want to burn your garlic.
- Add the flour and continuously stir for about 2 minutes. Pour in diced tomatoes and your reserved chicken broth. Continue to add in your shredded chicken, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Feel free to add some lime juice at this time or add it when you are about to serve.
- Ladle into a bowl and garnish with crushed tortilla chips or strips. Serve with a pinch of fresh cilantro and a lime quarter.