Alright, so you have your ingredients, let’s fire up the stove. You’ll need a stock pot or my favorite, a cast iron dutch oven. On medium-high heat and with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, simmer the diced onions until they start to sweat. Next, toss in the jalapeño, red bell peppers and garlic. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes being careful not to burn. Poor in the chicken stock and add the tomatoes. Season to taste with the cumin (approximately 3 teaspoons), paprika (approx. 1 teaspoon) and chili powder (0.5 teaspoons). Throw in some salt too – about 3 teaspoons or to taste. Add the seeded, dried peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
At this point, you will put the whole chicken breasts in the soup. Continue simmering until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Set the chicken breasts aside and let cool. The soup should have been simmering for approximately 45 minutes by this point. Toss in the bag of tortilla chips. Let simmer until the chips have dissolved. (Another 15 minutes or so.)
Once the chips have dissolved, add the cilantro. Here comes the messy, but necessary, part. Break out your blender. Using a ladle, fill up the blender about half way (ONLY half way – since the soup is super hot it can explode in your blender and you may burn yourself, so be super careful here!) with your soup. Pulse for about 30 seconds or until the soup is blended. Pour blended soup into a large bowl. Repeat this process until there isn’t any more soup left in your pot.
Pour the soup back into the pot and set on low to keep hot. Now is the time to prepare your garnishes. Slice the avo, shred the cheese and shred the chicken. You are now ready to enjoy your super yummy chicken tortilla soup! Enjoy and let me know what you think!