This weekend we cooked in: Mexican Chicken Soup, just like mom used to make. After a few passes, the following recipe was born, inspired by our Los Angeles roots, and a motley crew of leftovers . You don’t have to use a sweet potato, if a yellow or red potato is what you have on hand. Same goes for the grape tomatoes – especially this time of year, don’t go out of your way. Try whole canned tomatoes, diced into smaller pieces, or wait until summer to make this recipe with tomatoes. Same goes for the avocado. Just experiment. The key ingredients are the chicken and chicken stock, lime, cilantro, and tortilla.
Mexican Chicken Soup
1 medium sweet potato, cubed into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 32-oz. container organic chicken broth
1/2 small roast chicken (leftovers are fine), meat shredded off the bone
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Juice from 1/2 lime
Several stems cilantro, chopped fine (stems and leaves), plus more leaves for garnish
1 corn tortilla, cut in half, then in 1/4” strips
1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
Small piece jack cheese, shredded
In at least a 3-qt pot, boil 6 cups of water. Add sweet potato pieces and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until a knife pierced into center barely holds onto potato before dropping it. Drain and set aside.
In a large stock pot over medium flame, heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil, then add onion and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, and sauté another minute.
Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, lime juice, cooked potatoes, and cilantro. Turn off heat and cover.
In a small skillet over medium flame, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. oil. Add tortilla strips and allow to brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls, top with chopped cilantro, cubed avocado, shredded cheese and a handful of tortilla strips.