Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup

It is definitely soup weather now, and I am adding soup onto the weekly dinner rotation. Usually my husband and kids like it if I serve homemade rolls or bread, and I like it because it makes a huge pot and the leftovers make great lunches throughout the week. I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's website and could not wait to make it. It was delicious! The toppings are what really make this soup amazing - crispy fried tortilla strips, diced avocado and freshly grated pepper jack cheese. Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup
recipe from Pioneer Woman

2-3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1/4 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
3 cups Hot Water
1 can (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
for the toppings:
4-5 white or yellow corn tortillas
canola oil
diced avocado
shredded jack or cheddar cheese
sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Chop your bell peppers and onion.Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic to the pot. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix that you had set aside earlier. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed---add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
While your soup is simmering (you can do this step at any point) make your crispy tortilla strips. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add enough canola or vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Stack 4 or 5 tortillas.
Use a pizza cutter, or a large knife to slice the tortillas in half, and then into strips.
Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned.
Remove the tortilla strips and drain on paper towels (or a brown paper bag). Lightly salt and I double dog dare you not to eat one. Or two. Or three. They are soooooo good. I may or may not have eaten so many of them that I had to made a second batch to serve with the soup.
Ladle your soup into bowls and top with the diced avocados, crispy tortilla strips and shredded cheese.


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