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Applebee's Cheese Chicken Tortilla Soup

Source: Applebee's

1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
1 tablespoon finely minced jalape?o pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water
1 pound cooked chicken, cubed or pulled
1 cup cream
1/4 cup non-fat sour cream
8 ounces processed cheese, 1-inch cubes
10 (6-inch) colored or yellow corn tortillas, 1/4-inch strips, fried
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)

Saut? oil, garlic and onions in large pan or Dutch oven until soft.

Add numbers 4 through 13. Bring to low boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Cut tortillas into 1/4-inch strips and fry in oil or spray with oil and bake at 400 degrees F (while soup is cooking). Sprinkle with salt if desired.

Thoroughly mix flour and water, then whisk into soup. Bring to a low boil, then simmer 5 minutes.

Add chicken and simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in sour cream and cheese (more or less of each, depending on taste). Ensure 165 degrees F serving temperature.

After serving soup, pile tortilla strips into a "haystack" shape on top of the soup.

Optional: garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.

Yield: Six to eight portions

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