Chicken Chowder

¼ c vegetable oil
2 dozen corn tortillas, rough cut
2 c yellow onion, small dice
¼ c thyme, chopped
2 stalks celery, small dice
1 c poblano pepper, small dice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 c Russet potato, peeled/diced
1 q chicken stock
2 q whole milk
½ p chicken breast, seasoned, grilled, medium dice
¼ p smoked bacon, cooked, diced
½ c corn kernels, roasted
½ c Russet potatoes, peeled, medium dice, cooked
½ c poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, small dice
¼ c cilantro leaves, picked
¾ c tortilla strips, fried
1 lime, juiced, to taste
1 tablespoon    Tabasco, to taste

  1. In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, add the oil and the tortillas.  Cook, while stirring for about 8 minutes, until well toasted.  
  2. Add the onion, celery, thyme, and poblano.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, stir to combine.  
  4. Add the potato, stir to combine.  
  5. Add the chicken stock, cook until all liquid has been absorbed, about 8 minutes.  
  6. Add the milk and stir until well incorporated. 
  7. Simmer, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  
  8. Remove from the heat, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  
  9. Season with salt, pepper, lime juice, and tabasco to taste.  The soup base can be made several days in advance and garnishes can be added to the hot soup, just before serving. 
  10. For the garnishes, lightly sauté the chicken, bacon, corn, potatoes, and poblanos until heated through, and add to the hot soup base.  
  11. In each of 6 warm soup bowls, add equal amounts of the soup.  
  12. Finish with cilantro sprigs and tortilla strips.