Tom's Cilantro Chicken Tortilla Soup  

1 ½ lb      Large Tomatoes, quartered
1             Medium onion, quartered
           tbls. vegetable oil
4            Corn Tortillas, broken up
           Garlic cloves, finely chopped
8            Cups chicken stock
¼            Cup tomato paste
1             tbls. Chopped fresh Cilantro
1             tbls. Ground cumin
2            tsp. Chili powder
2            Bay leaves
2            Cups frozen corn
1             15 oz. Can black beans
4            Cups boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces, and sautéed in a small amount of oil. Add some chili powder for flavor enhancement. Salt as needed.

Avocado, diced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream
Fresh Cilantro
Crunched white tortilla chips



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Puree the tomatoes and onion in a processor until the mixture is smooth as possible. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped tortillas and garlic, and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the tomato-onion puree, chicken stock, tomato paste, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Just before serving, add the corn, black beans and cooked chicken and heat through.

While the soup is simmering, add the chicken to a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with chili powder. Salt if necessary. Sauté until cooked through.

To serve:

Place a preferred amount of crunched chips in the bottom of the soup bowls. Ladle in the soup, and garnish with any or all of the rest of the garnish ingredients. Goes well with any type of cornbread.

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