In Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., food can be nutritious, but never bland. Thus tortilla soup is the spicier version of the classic chicken noodle we all know. Peppers give the conventionally tame broth a bit of a kick, and tortillas replace the noodles. Either way you like it, chicken soup is wholesome, nourishing, and as our mothers knew, comforting – very good for days of treatment when that last quality is especially needed.

Like most soup recipes, this one is flexible and open to interpretation, depending on how you are feeling. If your taste buds are sensitive, you can omit or skimp on the jalepenos. If you’re cutting meat out of your diet, mushrooms or tofu can replace the chicken. Feel free to add whatever else appeals–a handful of spinach leaves for extra iron or garbanzo or black beans for added protein.

The soup is filling and vitamin-rich, benefiting from the combination of garlic, tomatoes and hearty stock. If you want additional calories and heft, serve with quinoa, brown rice or hominy.


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