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Quick tortilla chicken soup

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Three Many Cooks

(Read caption) Tortilla chicken soup with chipotle peppers to add flavor, heat, and smoke.

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In the past when I’ve needed a quick soup, I’ve often turned to ramen noodles (subbing chicken broth for the flavoring packet and water). I’ve got a new favorite now, and it’s just about as simple. Tortilla soup makes a fun and healthy (if you don’t overdo the toppings) one-dish weeknight supper. I’ve made a large pot for good reason. Those leftovers make a wonderful instant lunch the next day.


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  • To speed the cooking process, heat the broth in the microwave while the onions and garlic are cooking.
  • The chipotle peppers add flavor, heat, and smoke. They’re usually located in the Mexican section or Hispanic aisle of the grocery store.

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Recommended: Black and white bean chicken chili

Quick Tortilla Chicken Soup
Serves 6 to 8

Top soup with any or all of the following: grated pepper Jack cheese, diced avocados, light sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, hot red pepper sauce.

1 pound (2 large) boneless chicken breasts, halved cross-wise to form two thin cutlets
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 large onion, cut into medium dice
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted if you can find them)
2 cans black beans, not drained
6 ounces tortilla strips
1 lime, cut into eighths

Heat a Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium-high heat. Toss chicken with 1-1/2 teaspoons of the oil, salt, and chili powder to coat. Add chicken to hot pot; cook, turning only once, until impressively brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cut (or shred when cool enough to handle) into bite-size pieces.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the hot empty pot; add onions and saute until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppers; continue to sauté until fragrant, about a minute longer. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer partially covered and skimming foam as it surfaces, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.Stir in chicken and turn off heat.

Place a portion of tortilla strips in each bowl, ladle over hot soup, and top as desired, letting each person squirt in a little lime.

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