We eat this a lot during the week—I make a big pot and it’s enough for two nights’ dinners plus a lunch or two for me. Emma loves it, and thinks it’s fun to add the toppings, especially the avocado, which enhances the flavors and adds a mellow texture. If you use light sour cream and low-fat Cheddar, it’s a relatively low-cal meal, and with all its vegetables I usually don’t even bother with a salad. Easy! The recipe comes from Ina Garten—I don’t use as much chicken stock as she suggests, and our version is more stew than soup.
(serves 6 for dinner)
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (sometimes I use dark meat, but when I do I mix with white meat)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly gound black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock (Ina uses homemade–I never do!)
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriader seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional (but I use them)
6 6-inch fresh white corn tortillas
For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
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 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.