Soup for the Soul

There are days when soup warms more than just one's body. Today is one of those days.

This is the current state of my living room.

Livingroom

And my boys' playroom.

Playroom

And my mood.

(I would like to add here that the demolition of our living room and the complete replacement of our floors is not something we're doing by choice. It is fully a result of a flood that came from my neighbor's unit. I mention this so that no one thinks my grumpy mood is inappropriate.)

It's soup swap Monday at Turkeycookies and I promised black bean, but it's not happening. 

Instead, I will share with you a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup which my friend and neighbor Chris has perfected. In an example of what can only be interpreted as divine intervention, Chris made a batch yesterday and brought me some to have for lunch today.

Soup

Thank you Chris.

Here is his recipe:
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

Tortilla Strips
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
table salt

Soup
2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
8 sprigs fresh cilantro
table salt
2 medium tomatoes, corted and quartered
1/2 medium jalapeno chile
1 chipotle chile en adobo, plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Garnishes
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 avocado, diced fine
sour cream

Instructions
FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through baking time. Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels.

FOR THE SOUP: While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.

Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes. Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.