Chicken tortilla soup

Chicken tortilla soup can be garnished with sour cream, cilantro, lime and avocado in addition to tortilla strips.

There are umpteen ways to make chicken tortilla soup, but I prefer a fairly simple soup with lots of garnishes — a common strategy in Mexican cooking.

For this soup, the base is a tomatoey chicken broth flavored with cumin, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Shredded chicken and lime juice get stirred in before serving. Other than salt — that’s it, until you get to the garnishes at the table.

Those garnishes can include more lime, cilantro, avocado, sour cream or Mexican crema, and tortilla strips.

For the latter, it’s tempting to cheat and use pieces of store-bought tortilla chips. But making the strips yourself is easy and will give the soup a more distinctive look.

Just take corn tortillas, cut them into strips and fry in a few tablespoons of oil. They take just a couple of minutes to turn golden and crispy. Don’t forget to sprinkle them with salt while they are still hot.

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Recipe from Michael Hastings

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email to mhastings@wsjournal.com. Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number. Previously published recipes are available in the Recipe Database at www.journalnow.com/swap.

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