Chicken Tortilla Soup

My MIL, who thinks she can't cook, is a really great cook.  She made this for us and we couldn't stop eating it.  So good--comfort food without the guilt.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/2 C Chopped Onion
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 TBSP butter
3 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 jar salsa (16 oz)
2 C cooked shredded chicken
1/2 C chopped red bell pepper
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 C vegetable oil
6 Corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 Avacados, sliced
1 C shredded Cheddar cheese

In dutch oven, cook onion and garlic in butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.  Add chicken broth, picante sauce, shredded chicken, bell pepper, pepper and bay leaves.  Bring to boil.  Cover; reduce heat to low.  Simmer stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot.  Fry tortilla strips in oil until light golden brown.  Drain.  Divide tortilla strips among 6 serving bowls; ladle soup over strips.  Top with avocado, shredded cheese and sour cream.  Makes 8 cups.

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