Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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6 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Cooking spray

3 to 4 small ancho chiles, seeded and stemmed

1 quart chicken stock

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ears corn on the cob, husked, scraped from cob or 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted

1 large red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced

1 red chile pepper, seeded and chopped or thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika, half a palmful

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eyeball it in your palm

1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon honey

1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup water

2 limes

2 ripe Hass avocados

Sour cream

Cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice tortillas into 1/2-inch strips and scatter on large baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake to golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and reserve.
  2. While the tortillas crisp, add the ancho chiles and the stock a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until the dried peppers are tender.
  3. While anchos simmer, heat a medium soup pot with vegetable oil over high heat. Add corn and char at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat a little, then add the onions, peppers and garlic and season with the cumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Saute for 5 minutes, then add in the beer, cook for 1 minute and then stir in tomatoes. Puree the ancho chiles and stock in a processor, then add to the soup pot. Stir in the honey, then add the shredded chicken, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Thin with 1 cup of water and simmer to combine flavors.
  4. Zest and juice 1 of the limes and add to the soup. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh onto a cutting board and dice. Put into a bowl and dress with the juice of the remaining lime.
  5. Pile the chips into a large soup bowl. Top the chips with diced avocado, then ladle in the soup. Garnish with sour cream and whole or chopped cilantro leaves before serving.