Being so close to Mexico, we have a lot of Mexican-inspired restaurants near us now. (I say "Mexican-inspired" because my limited experience with Mexican food leaves me with little authority to judge it's authenticity. Though I can tell you it's tasty!) One popular menu item is tortilla soup. And while I do enjoy eating it at restaurants, sometimes you just have to have homemade.
The problem is (or, rather, was) that I'd only ever made it in my slow cooker. But, I figured adapting my recipe to the stovetop wouldn't be that hard since I'm working from home and can spend leave a pot boiling for a couple of hours (not a luxury everyone has on a weeknight). Fortunately, even with my ancient cooking equipment, the soup turned out very yummy!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 large (8 ounce) chicken breast
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup salsa (I use medium heat salsa; adjust to your spice preference)
1 clove garlic, minced
kernels from 2 ears freshly cooked corn (or 1 cup frozen/canned corn)
1 tsp. ground Ancho chili pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 lime, cut into segments
2 cups tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded cheese, if desired
Place chicken breast in a large pot. Pour chicken stock and salsa over top. Mix in garlic, corn, chili pepper and cumin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and let cook 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and let cool 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, take 2 forks and pull apart/shred the chicken breast.
Put shredded chicken back into soup. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
To serve, top bowls of soup with a handful of tortilla chips (which get crushed into the soup to soften), a wedge of lime and a sprinkle of cheese, if desired.
(To make this in a slow cooker, dump the first 7 ingredients in the crock and cook on low for about 6 hours. Remove chicken from crock, shred and return to crock for 1-2 hours to allow the flavor of the broth to penetrate the chicken. Follow instructions above for serving.)