This is one of many recipes that have made their way onto my family’sfavorites list thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, Valita, who today at 75 is still cooking up a storm. She, unlike me, is constantly trying new recipes. While I do like to experiment, create and recreate, I am a creature of habit at heart. I love to serve this crowd pleaser, a delicious hearty meal in a bowl, which comes from Valita’s sisters’ cafe in Middleton, Wisconsin, The Three Sisters Inn, just outside of Madison.  See also my New Style Tortilla Soup for my own lighter twist on this family classic.

For the Soup:

  • 1/2 stick (4 T.) butter or margarine (I use 3-4 T. olive oil instead)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots diced (short cut: use 1-2 cups pre-shredded carrot)
  • 6 celery ribs, diced
  • 1- 1.25 lbs, raw boneless skinlees chicken breast, diced
  • 1 tsp. each cumin, chili powder, lemon pepper & salt
  • 3 t. tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 14 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
  • 44 oz. organic chicken broth

For the garnish:

  • 1+/- cup light sour cream
  • 1+/- cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1+/- cup diced avocado
  • 1-2 cups tortilla chips or Totopos quinoa/chia/maca chips

Heat butter or olive oil in a large soup pot and add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chicken; saute, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, lemon pepper, salt, tabasco and flour; mix well to combine. Add tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for one hour.

To serve: crumble tortilla chips in bottom of bowls, add diced avocado. Spoon soup over – add a dolup of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese if desired. Yum!