- FOR THE STOCK:
- 1 whole chicken - (4 to 5 lbs) innards removed, and rinsed
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 cup medium-diced carrots
- 1 cup medium-diced celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 cups water
- FOR THE SOUP:
- 8 corn tortillas - (7" dia) see recipe
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups chopped onions
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 2 cups chopped peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes (about 6 to 8 Romas)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 large avocado peeled and diced
- 2 fresh limes cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the Stock: Season the chicken with salt. Place in a large stock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Season with a teaspoon of salt. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 2 hours. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain the liquid into a another pan, discarding the vegetables. Remove the fat and bones from the chicken. Dice the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
For the Soup: Preheat the fryer. Cut half of the tortillas in quarters and thinly slice the other half. Fry both cuts of tortillas in batches, until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and set aside.
In a stock pot, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Sauté until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf and jalapeño. Continue to sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes. Crush the reserved fried tortilla quarters over the tomatoes. Stir to mix. Stir in the reserved chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Using a hand-held blender, puree the soup until smooth or leave chunky. Reseason the soup. Stir in the reserved diced chicken and cilantro. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with the avocados, squeeze of lime juice, fresh cilantro and the fried tortilla strips. Serve warm.
This recipe yields about 6 to 8 servings.