Prep. Preheat oven to 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Saute. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the oil. Once shimmering add the onion (1), garlic (1 1/2 tablespoons), and peppers (2 poblanos & 1 jalapeno), and cook for 5-7 minutes, or just until they are soft. Sprinkle the salt (3 teaspoons), cumin (1 tablespoon), and coriander (2 teaspoons) over the onion mixture and continue to cook, stirring often so spices don't burn, for 1-2 minutes or until the spices become fragrant. Add the tomato paste (2 tablespoons) and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Simmer. Add chicken stock (12 cups) to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken (4) and continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add cilantro (1/2 cup) and lime juice (1 tablespoon) and stir.
Tortilla chips. Meanwhile, spread tortilla strips (12 tortillas, sliced) out in a single layer on your prepared baking sheets. Spray tortillas evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for about 4-6 minutes or until they are just starting to slightly brown and are crispy. Sprinkle hot strips with salt and pepper.
Serve + enjoy! Ladle soup into individual bowls and top each bowl with avocado, cheese, and tortilla strips as desired.
Saute First: Saute your onion and garlic, also known as aromatics, before adding them to your broth. This recipe is done with poblano and jalapeno peppers. Don't skip this step!! Sauteed vegetables will contribute a mellower, more balanced aroma, and a slightly sweeter flavor.
If you skip sauteing, the aromatics will instead contribute a stronger sulfurous aroma and a strange raw pungency. YUCK!
Toasting the Spices: Don’t skip the step of adding the spices to the pan and cooking them before you add the broth. This really intensifies their wonderful flavors, allows them to marry a bit, and gives the broth more a lot of complexity.
Poblano Pepper: A mildly spicy often used in Mexican cuisine. Jalapenos in comparison are quite a bit spicier.
Chicken: If you are short on time, feel free to substitute 4 cups of rotisserie chicken for the raw chicken breast and make a convenient tortilla soup with rotisserie chicken!