Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (recommended Muir Glen fire-roasted)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 ripe avocado, optional
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or mild cheddar
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges
Cut tortillas in half, and then cut the halves into 1/4-inch wide strips. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 3-quart pot. Working in three batches, fry the tortilla strips in the oil, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove the tortilla strips from the pan and let drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add the chopped onions to the pan, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chile and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions and chiles have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the broth, tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat to high, heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and cook until heated through.
To serve, top soup with tortilla strips, cheese, cilantro and other desired garnishes (avacado, sour cream, lime wedges).