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.