Chicken Bacon Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of those recipes that everyone has their version of, and everyone’s version is always the best. I think that’s because tortilla soup is just always awesome.  When I was growing up, my mom would dump about 15 cans of different mexi type vegetables in a pot, pour it over tortilla chips, and it was AWESOME.

I have no intention of calling this the best chicken tortilla soup ever, because I am sure each and every one of you probably has a tortilla soup recipe that you do call the best ever.

So come on, people now. Smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another…. and just enjoy my freakin’ tortilla soup because I’m not trying to compete with you.

P.S. This tortilla soup has bacon in it which actually makes it the best tortilla soup ever! BOO-YA!

Chicken Bacon Tortilla Soup

4 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little more for frying tortillas
4 cups frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons diced pickled jalapeños
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup water
6 slices peppered bacon
8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
salt n pepa to taste
plain greek yogurt (or sour cream… it tastes exactly the same)
shredded monterey jack cheese

In a large stockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken breasts to the pot and cook for a few minutes on each side, until the chicken is well browned and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot, and add chopped onion. Saute the onion, stirring often, 3-4 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Stir in the corn, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño. Add broth and milk, stirring to combine. Add salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Combine the cornmeal with 1/4 cup water in a small bowl, stir well, and add it to the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes.

While the soup simmers, shred the chicken with two forks, and add it to the soup.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add some of the tortilla strips, as many as you can fit in a single layer, and fry about 30 seconds on each side, or until they begin to brown. Remove the tortilla strips to a plate lined with paper towels, and repeat with the rest of the tortilla strips, replenishing olive oil as necessary.

Fry the peppered bacon until very crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Break it into small crumbles when cool.

To serve, put a handful of fried tortilla strips in the bottom of a bowl. Pour soup over the tortilla strips. Top with bacon, cheese, plain greek yogurt or sour cream, and additional tortilla strips.

Enjoy!

Kelsey May

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