Chicken Tortilla Soup
This delicately spiced yet hearty tortilla soup is great for a crowd—put out assorted toppings and let people pile them on any way they like.
- 1 whole chicken about 4 pounds
- 1 yellow onion halved
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 to 10 cilantro sprigs plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 15- ounce can whole tomatoes
- 2 peppers from 1 can chipotles in adobo seeded, plus 1 heaping tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 white onion minced
- 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 avocados halved and diced
- 2 to 3 radishes thinly sliced
- 4 to 8 lime wedges
- 3 to 4 cups tortilla chips
- Add first 6 ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken (about 10 cups) and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is very tender and starting to fall off the bone, 50 minutes to 1 hour, skimming as needed.
- While chicken is simmering, puree canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Set aside.
- When chicken is done cooking, place a colander into a larger bowl set in the sink. Carefully pour chicken and broth into the colander. Remove colander from the bowl and let chicken cool. Return broth to the pot and keep warm over low heat. When chicken is cool enough to handle, pick meat from the bones, shredding large pieces. Place meat in the pot with broth and discard skin, bones, and other solids. Add tomato mixture and white onion to the broth and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes, lowering heat if necessary.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with cotija, cilantro, avocado, and radishes and serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.