Well, folks, I have developed a bit of a cold. You know what the remedy for that is--chicken soup, no? But chicken noodle is...great, but not that special. I need a little more kick to power through this, so chicken tortilla soup it is.
1/2 onion, chopped
1 serrano chile, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
1 packet sazon (optional)
1 quart of chicken stock
1 can tomato sauce
1 chicken breasts
3 carrots, chopped
1 can black beans
corn, canned or frozen (or fresh)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Put enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot and heat over medium heat. Add onion and chile and saute over medium heat. Once onions start to soften, add 3 grated garlic cloves. add cumin, chile powder, and oregano and toast. I also had some sazon con culantro e achiote, so I threw a packet in. That does contain MSG, so be aware, if you have an allergy. I wouldn't buy it just for this, but if you have it, why not throw it in? Add black pepper, chicken stock, and chicken breasts (you can even add these directly from the freezer--that's what I did) and a bay leaf or two and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked. While the chicken is cooking, peel and chop 3 carrots. Drain the excess liquid off a can of black beans. When the chicken is done (or nearly so, you are going to add it back to the soup), remove it from the pot and allow to cool slightly. Add carrots, corn, tomato sauce, and beans to the pot. If you have some leftover tortilla chips, you can crush them and add to the soup to help it thicken. Shred chicken and return to pot to simmer until everything is cooked and flavors melded. Taste, and add seasoning if necessary.
Serve with tortilla chips/strips, avocado, a squeeze of lime, and cheese or sour cream. You can make the tortilla strips yourself from flour or corn tortillas or just buy some chips. (You can even make the tortillas yourself--it's quite easy to make either corn or flour tortillas, but it is time consuming.)
The soup is quite tasty, and I feel that I am on the road to recovery!