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Casarita's Tortilla Soup

Posted by gincart at anonymous

Source: Adapted from San Antonio Express News

I love tortilla soup and have tried my share of various recipes. This, in all honesty, is, by far, the best!

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
1 to 2 chicken breasts (1 large is enough),
    sliced thinly or cubed small
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly fine ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce
4 quarts water
1/2 cup chicken base
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced into coins
1 fresh tomato, chopped
Optional garnish: chopped cilantro, shredded Cheddar or jack
    cheese, sour cream, avocado slices and fried tortilla strips

In a large pot heat the oil and add the onion and chicken. Saut? for several minutes until onions and chicken are starting to brown. Add the garlic, cumin, black and white peppers. Saut? the spices for a couple of minutes then add tomato sauce. Add water and chicken base and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add squash, zucchini, tomato and carrots. Simmer briefly until vegetables are just tender. Serve hot with garnish of your choice.

My Notes: You can use bagged tortilla chips crunched up, however, the best is homemade fried tortilla strips. In a heavy frying pan (cast iron works great) heat about 1/4" of vegetable oil or lard to at least 350 degrees F.

Stack several corn tortillas and cut them in half. Stack the halves again and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Place enough strips in pan to cover bottom and deep fry until lightly browned. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Salt to taste... great garnish!

Also, if you want to kick up the flavor of the cumin, toast 1 tablespoon cumin seed in a small dry pan over medium heat for several minutes... then grind and add as fresh ground toasted cumin.

I halved this recipe and it came out great, enjoy!

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