Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I know I have mentioned (more than once) that I love Mexican food. Well, it seems over this last week I may have over done it just a tad. I have been told I am obsessed and I guess now I will have to bow my head and agree with it. However, this recipe satisfied not only my love for all things Mexican it also satisfied my craving for a nice hot bowl of soup.

I grew up and lived most of my life in Southern California and I used to get so happy when it would rain because it meant it was time to light the fire, sip hot chocolate, and make some tummy warming soup or stew! Now that I live in Western Washington I have “soup weather” more often than not. Yes, by the end of winter I am not as thrilled with the idea as I was in the fall but I still love the first few months that I can indulge.

When I lived in San Diego there was a restaurant called Island’s. Their specialty was burgers with all sorts of different toppings, but they also had chicken tortilla soup. You could get a bottomless bowl of it and it was oohhhhh so good! Theirs was a bit spicier than mine but I was trying to accommodate the different palates in my home. If you want it spicy like I do just add more chili powder,  jalapeno or even use Serrano peppers instead of jalapenos.

Once you bake your chicken tenders
shred them up with a couple of forks
Get your veggies going in a bit of olive oil
Add your tomato paste once your veggies have softened and stir it a bit to combine and heat up the paste
Add your fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, chicken stock, remainder of spice mixture, and shredded chicken. Bring the whole thing to a boil.
Mix together your corn meal and water and stir that in
Meanwhile get all your garnish ready
Doesn’t this just look like a big bowl of YUM?
Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, diced
2 jalapeno, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
1 (14.5-ounce can) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) black beans
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
3 tablespoons cornmeal
5 corn tortillas cut into equal strips
Sour cream
Diced white onion
Cilantro
Diced avocado
Shredded Montery Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool shred chicken with two forks, set aside.
In a large soup pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken, lime juice, and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Mix corn meal with a small amount of hot water and add to the soup. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat and stir in tortilla strips. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Garnish with avocado, sour cream, onions, cilantro, cheese, and cheese.
ENJOY!!! 

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