Tortilla Soup

*Tortilla Soup*
Serves 4

This soup is quick to make, very flavourful, and surprisingly filling.  It also  freezes very well, minus the garnishes.

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 (14 ounce) tin of crushed tomatoes
750ml of good quality chicken stock (3 cups)
1 small tin of salad crisp corn niblets, drained
1/2 of a 415g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
1 green chili pepper, trimmed, seeded and chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped (cilantro)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
To Garnish:
2 or 3 corn tortillas
cooking oil
shredded medium cheddar or jack  cheese
sour cream
minced chives or spring onions

Place the oil in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and green chili.  Cook and stir until softened.  Stir in the chili powder, oregano, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stir in the corn, beans, coriander and chicken.  Simmer for a further 10 minutes.

While the soup is cooking cut your tortillas into thin strips. Heat some oil in a large skillet and cook them a handful at a time.  Scoop out and drain on paper toweling.  Lightly season with salt.  Repeat until all your tortilla strips are cooked.

Ladle the hot soup into heated bowls.  Garnish each with some fried tortilla strips, a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheese and a sprinkle of chives or spring onions.

Note:  you can use crushed tortilla chips instead of the fried tortillas if you wish.