This soup is inspired by chicken tortilla soups I have had a various restaurants. I have made versions of this at home many times because it is my husband's favorite. This is the best version I have made so far. I don't usually serve it with traditional restaurant garnishes, but with crushed tortilla chips.
2 large (or 3 small) chicken breast halves
olive oil to thinly coat chicken breasts
salt and chili powder to lightly coat chicken breasts
olive oil to barely coat bottom of large soup pot
1 large bell pepper, diced
pinch of salt
4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
2 tsp chili powder
1 12-16 oz jar salsa (mild or medium, depending on heat preference)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
32 oz chicken broth (plus water until the desired broth consistency is reached)
2 Tbsp Ortega taco sauce or ketchup
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 Tbsp masa harina + water to thin into pourable consistency
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Chipotle Tabasco sauce to taste (optiona1)
Heat oven to 400. Place chicken breast halves in a casserole dish. Sprinkle chicken with olive oil, salt, and chili powder, turning to coat all sides. Roast chicken for 30 - 45 minutes or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast measures 165 degrees. Set chicken aside until cool enough to chop.
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute the peppers, with a pinch of salt, until softened.
Turn the heat to low, add the garlic and chili powder, and saute for one more minute until garlic is just fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the salsa and beans, turn the heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes until mixture is bubbling and starts to cook down a little.
Add the broth, taco sauce/ketchup, oregano, basil, and water, if necessary, to thin the soup to taste.
Bring the soup to a low boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is done roasting.
When chicken is cool enough to handle, dice it into bite-sized chunks. Add the chicken to the soup pot along with any drippings and juices from the roasting pan. In a small dish, thoroughly mix the masa harina with water until smooth, pourable, and there are no lumps. Stir the masa liquid into the soup thoroughly and simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add parsley if desired.
Serve with tortilla strips for garnish or tortilla chips. This soup is also excellent with precooked/leftover rice stirred into each serving.
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