mexican chicken soup
- 2 to 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
- 1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro
- Crumbled feta or grated Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
- Tortilla chips
- Diced avocados
- Lime wedges
Put chiles into a medium heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside to let soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer chiles and about 1/2 cup of their soaking liquid to a blender and purée, adding more of the chiles' soaking liquid, if needed, to make a smooth, thin paste. Set aside.
Put broth into a large pot and bring just to a boil. Add carrots, garlic, tomatoes and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved chile purée and simmer until carrots are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Reserve leftover chile purée for another use. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to 2 months.) Add chicken and simmer over low heat until just until cooked through.
Remove soup from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with cilantro, cheese, tortilla chips, avocados and lime wedges