Although I'm not a born Southerner (and they're not quick to claim ya either), I've had many native Southerners approve of this recipe I've tweaked--mostly to make easier!
1 TBSP olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilis, liquid and all
6 cups gluten-free chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with liquid (our kids like petite diced)
Salt (optional—I don’t use since the chips are salted)
¾-1 lb. (3 chicken breasts) shredded or diced cooked chicken
1 (~13 oz.) bag tortilla chips (Cool Ranch Doritos are good, but they contain milk products, plain tortilla chips are fine)
1 large ripe (but still firm) Hass avocado--or 2 small avocadoes, diced
1 (8 oz.) pkg. light sour cream (or Tofrutti for lactose/casein free)
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (leave out for lactose/casein free)
3-4 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil on med-high heat in soup pot, add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and green chilis; cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes (and salt if using). Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add cooked chicken; heat until hot. Place the tortilla chips in gallon-sized zip baggie and smash bag to break up chips into smaller pieces.
To serve, cut and pit the avocado, dice. Divide the crushed chips in half. Add a handful of smashed chips in each serving bowl; ladle in soup. Top with a dollop of sour cream, avocado and cheese; garnish with more tortilla chips and cilantro. Yummo!!
Replace chicken with:
1 can (drained/rinsed) black beans & 1 cup chopped zucchini,
1 can black beans & 1 can northern beans, drained & rinsed
LACTOSE FREE: Don't top with shredded cheese or sour cream (use Tofrutti)...OR live it up and take a lactose supplement if they work for you!
TIPS: To prevent diced avocados from going brown when using as a topping, drizzle lime juice over them and gently mix.
If you have any diced avocado toppings left over, put them in the left-over soup so they don't go brown.
This soup is really good with left-over grilled, fajita, or oven-roasted chicken.