You can’t go wrong with a Cook’s Illustrated recipe — I completely love this soup!
Makes about 9 cups, serving 6
Tortilla Strips :
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled
4 medium cloves of garlic , peeled
2 sprigs epazote , fresh, or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
2 medium tomatoes , cored and quartered
1/2 medium jalapeño pepper (I used less jalapeno because I don’t like very spicy food)
1 chipotle chile en adobo , plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (I only used 1/2 of the chipotle, but I used 1 T. of the adobo sauce)
1 can white shoepeg corn, or your favorite fresh or frozen corn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lime , cut into wedges
1 Hass avocado , diced fine
8 ounces cotija cheese , crumbled, or Monterey Jack cheese, diced fine
fresh cilantro leaves
jalapeno pepper , minced
Mexican crema or sour cream
1. FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through baking time. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels.
2. FOR THE SOUP: While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
3. Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes. Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce. Add shredded chicken and corn and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.
from Cook Illustrated, March 2005