Here in Southern California, Mexican food is as common as burgers and fries.

But for a really authentic Mexican restaurant, head to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

During my visit to Olvera Street, I enjoyed some great Mexican recipes, from the crunchy beef taquitos at Cielito Lindo, to the soft carne asada tacos at La Noche Buena.

I ended my visit with some homemade churros, dusted in cinnamon and sugar. They’re the ultimate portable dessert!

One of the dishes I enjoyed most was tortilla soup which can be made several ways.

Today we are making Chicken Tortilla Soup. Now let’s get started on this easy tortilla soup recipe.

If you have leftover chicken or leftover turkey making mexican tortilla soup is a great way to use up your leftovers for a second meal.

After roasting a chicken (and eating most of it), I’ve still got plenty of great meat I can peel off. Make sure you only get the meat. You don’t want any chicken fat, which does not have much flavor. Cut into bite size pieces. You’ll want roughly 2 cups of diced chicken.

After I dice up the cooked chicken it’s time to get the rest of the ingredients together.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Half an onion, chopped
Small bunch of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 quarts chicken stock or broth

1 avocado, sliced into lengthwise strips
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried (You can cheat with crumbled tortilla chips)

Preheat your soup pot on medium high. Add butter. Melt it down, and add the carrots, celery and onion. Stir down for 3 minutes.

Add garlic and cilantro. Stir another minute.

Add diced cooked chicken and spices. Stir another minute, coating the chicken with the spices.

Add tomato sauce. Let thicken for a couple minutes, then add the broth or stock. Bring back to a rapid boil, then set heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, fry your tortilla strips at 375 degrees about 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside. You can also shred the cheese and slice the avocado at this time.

After 30 minutes, check the soup. Add salt to taste. I don’t usually add more than a teaspoon of salt.

Garnish with tortilla strips, shredded cheese and avocado wedges. Enjoy!

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(158661) Tortilla Soup

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