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Mexican Tomato Soup

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck
Hands-on time 1 hr, 5 mins
Total time 1 hr, 40 mins
Yield Makes 4 to 6 servings
Charring the tomatoes creates a wonderfully smoky, flavor to this zesty Mexican Tomato Soup. Adjust the amount of red pepper to your desired level of heat.

Ingredients

  • 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and halved
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (32-oz.) container reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 cups low-sodium tomato juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 4 green onions (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Brush 1 side of tortillas with 1 Tbsp. oil; cut tortillas in half. Stack tortilla halves, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Arrange strips in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes or until golden, stirring halfway through. Cool.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over high heat 2 minutes. Add tomato halves, and cook, turning occasionally, 10 minutes or until charred on all sides. (Tomatoes may stick.) Transfer to a food processor.

  3. Sauté onion in remaining 1 Tbsp. hot oil in skillet over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer onion mixture to food processor with tomatoes; process until smooth.

  4. Cook tomato mixture in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in broth and tomato juice. Add bay leaf and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

  5. Add chicken; simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is done.

  6. Discard bay leaf. Stir in green onions and next 2 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Divide queso fresco among 4 to 6 soup bowls; top with tortilla strips. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with avocado.