Chicken Tortilla Soup (Pioneer Woman Style)

Another tortilla soup recipe?! Yep :-)! I think I need a separate category devoted to tortilla soup...and I really need to go through and delete out the ones that aren't as good as the others. Any, back to this soup. When I saw this on The Pioneer Woman's site recently I knew I would have to try it. Was it good? Super good. Was it worth all the work to make it? Not in my opinion. Although the soup was tasty, I have had equally tasty tortilla soups that are a lot less time consuming to prepare, so I may add some elements from this one (like the bell peppers) to some of my other favorites but I don't know that I'll actually make this exact one again.
(Some of faves...My recipe, Tortilla Soup, Sopa Azteca, and Mexican Chicken Lime Soup)
(In this soup's defense, it does make a lot!)

Ingredients

* 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
* 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
* 1-½ teaspoon Cumin
* 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
* ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
* 1 cup Diced Onion
* ¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
* ¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
* 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
* 1 can Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
* 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
* 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
* 4 cups Hot Water
* 2 cans Black Beans, Drained
* 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
* 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
* Garnishes:
* Sour Cream
* Diced Avocado
* Diced Red Onion
* Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
* Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
* Cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

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