Chicken Tortilla Soup

(serves 8-10)

¼ C vegetable oil

1 bunch celery, diced

2 small yellow onions, diced

8 cloves garlic, finely minced

5 corn tortillas, quartered

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6 C chicken stock

1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 – 10 ounce cans Rotel tomatoes

2 t taco seasoning (Fiesta brand is good.)

1 ½ t chili powder

1 ½ t cumin

2 t chipotle puree

Juice from 1 lime

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Shredded chicken

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In a preheated soup pot, add oil, celery, onions and garlic. Season with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add corn tortillas and continue to cook until the tortillas soften. Add stock. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring soup to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about an hour. Remove soup from heat and allow cooling. Once soup has cooled (overnight is best), puree in a blender. Remember to only ladle your blender pitcher 2/3 full. Blend first on low speed and then raise to high speed. (NEVER PUREE HOT SOUP.) Shred cooked chicken. (I used a rotisserie bird.) For service, heat soup and ladle into bowls with shredded chicken, avocado chunks, crispy tortilla strips, queso fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds. Garnish with lime wedges and sprigs of cilantro.

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(see instructions for crispy red tortilla strips)

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