Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
My friend Donna and I spent a happy day developing this recipe. This soup is flavorful and filling, and serves two families with enough left to freeze for a later meal!  I’ve used this recipe several times for large gatherings like Teacher Appreciation dinners or Christmas Progressive Dinners in the neighborhood.  Keep it warm in a big crockpot or two, or a large pot set on low on the stove top. People can bring toppings like avocados, cheese, chips, and sour cream.  Warm rolls, cornbread, or flour tortillas with honey also make a nice accompaniment to the soup.
This also freezes well (before adding the cheese, avocados and chips). About 10 quarts of soup.

3 medium onions, chopped
9 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
(28 ounces) cans tomatoes, crushed
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 large cans chicken broth (4-6 quarts)
3 c. corn (two 15 oz. cans, drained)
3 c. white hominy (two 15 oz. cans, drained)
3 (4 ounces) cans green chili peppers, chopped (or use fresh roasted poblanos)
3 (14.5 ounces) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
boneless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (sauté in a skillet, seasoning with cumin or Mexican seasoning, or use leftover grilled or roasted chicken)
1 tablespoon fresh or dried oregano or Italian seasoning
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 avocados, chopped
12 oz. Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 bunch green onions, chopped
sour cream or plain yogurt
tortilla chips

In a large stock pot, sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes and cook, covered, until tomatoes have broken down a bit (about 20 minutes).
Stir in chili powder and broth. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn, hominy, chili peppers, beans, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add oregano or Italian seasoning. (At this point, the soup can be frozen.)
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with avocado, grated cheese, green onion, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips.

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