Here's a soup that can be put together quickly and offers comforting, warm and spicy flavors. Serve the soup family-style in a large tureen and arrange the garnishes around the table in colorful bowls for everyone to dress up their soup. Easily double or triple this recipe to feed a larger crowd.
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
- 1 15- ounce can chopped tomatoes, with their liquid
- 1/2 Pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Teaspoon chopped cilantro
- 2 Teaspoons rumbled feta or grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 5 tortilla chips
- Diced avocados
- Lime wedges
Put chiles into a medium heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside to let soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer chiles and about 1/2 cup of their soaking liquid to a blender and purée, adding more of the chiles' soaking liquid, if needed, to make a smooth, thin paste. Set aside.
Put broth into a large pot and bring just to a boil. Add carrots, garlic, tomatoes and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved chile purée and simmer until carrots are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Reserve leftover chile purée for another use. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to 2 months.) Add chicken and simmer over low heat until just until cooked through.
Remove soup from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with cilantro, cheese, tortilla chips, avocados and lime wedges.