I made this soup over a week ago when we were snowed in. It was a nice meal to help keep warm while the wind and snow were going strong outside. This has a really great combination of flavors and was exactly what I was looking for in a tortilla soup recipe. I made a few adaptations to the recipe based on the fact that grocery stores in our area are absolutely awful at stocking remotely unique ingredients such as any variety of pepper other than bell or jalapeno. I also left out the corn because it turned out we didn’t have any, and the avocado because I’m not a fan. This was definitely a full meal on its own. I just served it with rolls on the side. We are both looking forward to having it again!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 tomatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red bell pepper, diced (about ½ cup)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1-2 diced jalapeno peppers
½ (15 oz.) can peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper
cayenne, to taste (optional)
2 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

For garnish:
tortilla chips or strips
1 tomato, diced
chopped fresh cilantro
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tbsp. of the olive oil on a baking sheet or pizza pan and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, 4-qt. soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, 1 cup water, and half of the diced jalapenos. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover, decrease the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

Place the remaining jalapenos, the canned tomatoes with their juices and the roasted tomatoes (included as much as possible of the juices and browned tomato bits) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the jalapeno-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the soup and continue simmering, covered, about 1 hour.

Add salt and pepper to taste and ground cayenne pepper (if using) along with the cooked chicken. Allow to simmer a few minutes, until chicken is heated through.

Ladle the soup into medium bowls. Lean some tortilla chips against the edge of each bowl, partially sticking out of the soup. Sprinkle each bowl with a handful of diced tomatoes, some cilantro, and shredded cheese. Top with a spoonful of sour cream. Serve immediately.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from The Pastry Queen, 2004.