Tasty Tuesday: Tortilla Soup

Tasty TuesdayShort of a knock on the head, I'll never forget the first time I had this. It came after a long day of raft guide training in late March or early April. I was cold and wet and had spent all day thinking about what moving water does when it hits rocks and submerged train cars and low-head dams--and what happens when the human body gets involved in that combination. Neither my body nor my mind were anything like comfortable.

You can only get one of those fairground barns so warm when it's fifty degrees out. I had removed the wetsuit and put on all my dry thermals and a hat--and then Eddie and Leanne served us this. If you're cold and exhausted, I don't think there's anything more comforting.

Tortilla Soup

1 chicken
4-5 burrito-size tortillas (or several smaller ones)
2-3 avocados, depending on size
2-4 tomatoes, depending on size
1 small onion
Bay leaves
Olive oil
Cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Salsa (optional)

Boil chicken with salt, garlic and bay to taste (I use 3-4 bay leaves, about a tablespoon of salt, and a healthy sprinkling of garlic powder.) Debone chicken and return to stock.

With a knife or pizza cutter, cut tortillas into strips about 1/2" x 2". Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, add tortilla strips and fry till lightly browned (you'll need medium or medium-high heat). You can then make cheese quesadillas with whatever tortillas remain in the package--they make a great side dish.

Chop avocados, tomatoes, and onion and put in separate bowls.

Grate cheddar cheese.

Here's what you do to serve: Ladle bowls half-full of chicken and broth. Make a buffet line with fried tortilla strips, vegetables, cheese, sour cream and salsa. Allow everyone to take their bowl of chicken and add the other ingredients according to desire.


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