I am completely obsessed with soup. My favorite thing to do on Sundays, besides watching football and drinking wine, is to make a nice big pot of spicy, brothy soup. Spell check is telling me brothy is not a word, but it is for me!
I love to experiment with different vegetables, spices and additions to my soups. Yesterday I went crazy! I didn't know what to call this soup because to me, it's not tortilla soup. My tortilla soup is tomato based and a whole different soup than this. I just happen to love adding tortilla strips and cheese to just about every soup I make! This soup has a lot of southwest flavors so I decided to call it Southwest Chicken Soup. I will list all of the ingredients I used, but the best thing about this soup is how versatile it can be. Add whatever YOU want or omit whatever YOU want and make it your own.
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Sprinkle Chef Merito Pollo Seasoning on one side of the chicken breasts and heat over medium high heat pan coated with olive oil, about 3 TBSP. Turn over when browned and season the other sides of the chicken breasts. Once brown on both sides, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium low until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.
I like a lot of medudo mix (oregano, onion flakes, coriander seed, cumin, and crushed red chili pepper) - I buy it in the Hispanic section of the grocery store but you could make your own. I take a small handful and grind it between my hands into the soup. Stir it in, add salt to taste (you can add more after the soup cooks a bit - the chicken has salt in the seasoning). Bring your soup to a boil as you begin shredding the chicken.
If you're like me, wine is always accompanying me while I cook, as well as my adorable little laptop so I can follow my fantasy football team, First & Girl. I love this wine glass! My Sister's Mama made them for me and they hold just the right amount of wine and they are super sturdy! Love love love them! I have 2!
I like to cook the soup for a good 3 or 4 hours. This allows all the wonderful flavors to marry. At around hour 2, I taste the broth for seasoning. You can adjust however you choose, adding salt or any other seasonings you feel may be missing. I was tempted to add more cayenne, but I didn't. I think when I taste it again today, the flavors will be even better than yesterday.
To serve, I add some tortilla strips and cheese on the bottom of the bowl then ladle the soup over it and garnish with a little more on top, some cilantro, more menudo mix and a squeeze of lime.
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