I like Ina Garten's version of Mexican Chicken Soup very much, but I make a few changes which I've noted below.
Aside from roasting the chicken (you can use store-bought rotisserie), the soup goes together fairly rapidly and only needs to simmer for about 30 minutes.
While the chicken breasts are baking, prepare the vegetables:
Grab your favorite big pot... I have a few favorites but if I'm serving from the pot I like to pick a pretty one. :)
Heat the oil, and saute the vegetables ~
... until the onions just begin to brown.
While the veggies are cooking slice the fresh, white corn tortillas in half, then into 1/2-inch strips:
These will serve to slightly thicken and flavor the broth.
Stir in the garlic and herb/spices (except the cilantro), allow them to release their oils.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, minced jalapleno peppers, salt and pepper to the pot, and bring to a boil.
Stir in the fresh tortilla strips~
They will begin to soften and dissolve;
Reduce the heat and partially cover the pot.
Allow to simmer for 25 minutes or so, then add the chicken just before serving.
Garnish with your choice of toppings/ I use the cilantro leaves generously because I love it, but some don't so I pass it along with the other condiments at the table. Then get ready to enjoy a comforting soup!
I follow Ina's recipe fairly closely as far as ingredients and amounts, but I do change a few things which I've noted below.
Mexican Chicken Soup
My adaptation of Ina Garten's recipe
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks, or more depending upon size)
2 cups sliced carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 qts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in purée, crushed (I use two 14.5 ounce cans, of diced tomatoes with their juice)
1 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon dry Mexican Oregano, or 2 teaspoons fresh
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
Instant Masa Harina (as thickener, optional)
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. When I add the garlic, I also add the cumin, coriander, and oregano, to allow their oils to release.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their purée, jalapenos, , 2 teaspoons salt (I don't add the entire 1 Tablespoon, as the amount will depend upon the saltiness of the chicken stock, you can adjust at the end of cooking time)
1 teaspoon pepper
Note: Ina adds the cilantro now, if using. I don't because I don't like cooked cilantro leaves. I do mince some of the stems and add them now. (optional)
Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup.
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. I partially cover.
If you prefer thicker soup, add about a Tablespoon or so of instant Masa Harina (optional)
Just before serving add the shredded chicken and season to taste.
If I'm serving individually, and not out of the pot at the table I add the chicken to the soup bowls, then ladle the hot soup over the top. I pass the cilantro at the table to allow each diner to add their own.
Serve the soup with any of the following, if you like: sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.
May use rotisserie chicken rather than roasting your own.