In Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., food can be nutritious, but it’s never bland. Chicken 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.
Poach chicken in 2 cups of the broth, garlic, and bay leaf in a large pot over very low heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes from when broth reaches a simmer. Strain and reserve broth. Remove chicken from broth, and shred into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Wipe the same pot clean and heat oil. Cook onion, jalapeno, and cumin until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer 1 minute. Add chicken pieces, reserved poaching broth, and remaining stock. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and season with salt. When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled tortilla chips. If desired, add fresh cilantro and top with fresh salsa or sliced avocado. Squeeze a lime wedge over each bowl of soup and serve.
Use a chicken thigh instead of or along with the chicken breast for more flavor.
Bag and freeze any extra for quick meal another day. Because there’s meat in this soup, use within 3 months.