Christa's Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 Whole Chicken
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Fresh Serrano Peppers, stemmed and minced
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 lb. 12 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbsp. Chicken Base
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 large bunch Cilantro, stemmed
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Tortilla Chips or Strips
1. Place whole chicken in a stock pot, fill pot with water just until the chicken is covered by one inch. Add in 1/3 of the diced onion. Bring to a low boil. Partially cover pot and cook until done- approximately 45 min-one hour. Remove from heat.
2. Remove chicken and place onto a large cutting board. Cool. Skim off any foam or fat that collected on the surface of the chicken stock in the pot.
3. Remove the chicken meat and discard the bones and skin. Shred or finely chop the chicken meat.
4. Bring the chicken stock back up to a slow boil. Meanwhile in a separate pan, sauté over medium heat the remaining onion in the vegetable oil for two minutes. Add in the garlic and serrano peppers. Sauté two to three more minutes or until the onion is translucent.
5. Add the cooked vegetable mixture, petite diced tomatoes and their juices, chicken base, and diced chicken to the chicken stock. Simmer for ten minutes. Stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and cilantro. Remove from heat.
6. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with tortilla chips, a tablespoon of sharp cheddar cheese and avocado slices. Place a lime wedge on the edge of the bowl. Serve immediately.
7. Extra chips may be served on the side. Squeeze the lime wedge over the broth to give the soup a tasty kick.
1. The soup can be made ahead and frozen for future use. Prepare through step five omitting the cilantro. When ready to serve, thaw, bring to a simmer, stir in the cilantro, and continue with step six.
2. Fresh jalapenos can be substituted for the serranos.
3. Do not substitute regular salt for the kosher salt.
4. I highly recommend the lime- it doesn't taste the same without it!
5. Fried corn tortilla strips can be used instead of the tortilla chips.