Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serve as a first course soup to any Southwestern or Tex-Mex meal.
- 6 flour tortillas (6-inch)
- Cooking spray
- 2 large ancho chili peppers, seeded and stemmed
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 ears corn on the cob, husked and kernels removed or 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika (half a palmful)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (eyeball it in your palm)
- 1 can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 cups water
- 2 limes, 1 zested and juiced
- 2 ripe Hass avocados, halved
- Sour cream, for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Slice the tortillas into 1/2-inch strips and scatter on a large baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and reserve.
While the tortillas crisp, add the ancho chili peppers and the chicken stock to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peppers are tender. Remove from the heat to cool.
While the peppers simmer, heat a medium size soup pot with vegetable oil over high heat. Add the corn and sauté until charred at the edges, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat a little, then add the onion, jalapeño, red chili pepper and the garlic. Season with cumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Sauté for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes.
Puree the ancho chili peppers and the stock in a food processor, then add to the soup pot. Stir in the honey and the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Thin the soup with 1-2 cups of water and simmer over low heat to combine the flavors, about 5 minutes. Add the zest and juice of one lime to the soup pot.
Seed and dice the avocados and add to a small bowl. Dress with the juice of the remaining lime.
Pile some crispy tortilla strips into each soup bowl. Top with diced avocado and ladle the soup over the avocado. Garnish with sour cream and whole or chopped cilantro leaves.