This soup is amazing, and even better, I would definitely place this soup in the “very good for you” category. I’m pretty sure this flavorful soup could probably be squeezed into almost any diet (except the crazy ones obviously:). So if you’re currently in the category of “I’m watching what I eat” or even if you’re just trying to be healthy, this soup is for you! In fact, Mom actually passed this recipe along to me. She received it from a friend whose husband is on a strict low-carb, diabetic diet. I would have been skeptical, if it hadn’t been Mom passing it along, but it was great. Obviously if you’re counting calories, you’re going to want to go really light on the tortilla strips and garnishes and cut out the olive oil…don’t worry this soup can stand on it’s own two feet. Otherwise, I say throw ’em on there baby. I do recommend adding the ancho chili, it adds a delicious unique flavor. Ancho chilies are a mild, fruity chili that is just the dried form of poblanos, and are the sweetest of all dried chilies. You may be able to find them in your local grocery store. If not, you should be able to find them in your local Mexican market for super cheap. Eat up!
Sweet Chili Tortilla Soup
Submitted by Amy ~ The Sisters Cafe
1 dried ancho chili
1/2 cup boiling water
2 T. olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, or equivalent amount of rotisserie chicken)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch coins (or equivalent baby carrots)
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
2 t. ground cumin
6 cups chicken broth (or stock)
3 cans (14.5 oz each) chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (I probably use a little more)
10 corn tortillas, for frying
For garnish use any of the following:
Crumbled queso fresco, or shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1. Place chili in a small, heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over and let soak 30 minutes. Drain; remove stem and seeds. Slice into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.
2. In a large soup pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Continue to cook about 8 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cumin and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add broth, reserved chili, tomatoes, and cilantro and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. With your hands, tear 3 tortillas into 2-inch strips and add to the soup. Continue to simmer about 15 minutes.
3. With a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a cutting board; take soup off heat. With a immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (I just use my regular blender and it works fine or you can puree the soup in small batches in a food processor fitter with knife blade). Return to pan. With two forks, shred chicken; return to soup. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Slice remaining tortillas with a pizza cutter into 1/4-inch strips. In a small saucepan, heat 1.5 inch canola oil until very hot. Fry tortilla strips until crisp, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove strips to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve soup in bowls topped with tortilla strips and any or all of the optional garnishes.
*If watching calories, try baking the tortilla strips until crisp, instead of frying them. Cut them up, place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with salt and pop them in the oven. I personally haven’t made them this way yet, so I’m not sure how long to cook them, but I’m sure it would be great! Let us know if you try it this way:)
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