I love soup. Something about it...the simplicity of it, I suppose. I'm not always wild about making it. I mean, soup can have a lot of steps. Not all of them are just dump and walk away, KWIM?
This soup, which I have made several times, has lots of steps but let me tell you...
They are worth the work. This recipe is another Ina Garten one (my goodness, I think I'm turning into her clone ;-) and I have to say the end result looks better than my picture and hers. Go the extra mile and use homemade chicken stock. It's SO WORTH IT. And listen to the Barefoot Contessa and roast those chicken breasts. You'll be glad you did.
You don't have to roast them the day you make the soup. I often roast several chicken breasts at a time when I'm making dinner and freeze the extra. And when I make stock, I make a TON. I have this huge stock pot that is supposed to be for canning (though I have good intentions of getting around to canning, I never do, so I use it for stock making instead) and from that, I can get a good 20 cups of stock. I freeze it in small, varied size batches for different applications. Six cups for soup, one cup for other recipes, two cups for sauces.
I don't have coriander, so I don't put that in. It's one of those can't-ever-find-it-in-Kroger things, so I don't have it. I just use extra cilantro. And sometimes instead of one 28-ounce can of pureed tomatoes, I'll use two 14-ounce diced Mexican flavored tomatoes. Yeah, I know. I live dangerously ;-)
Get the fresh cilantro, and also do the fresh tortillas for a garnish. It really tastes super yummy. You'll be glad you did. In fact, I'm never sorry I splurged on a few fresh ingredients!
Now that it's warmer out, the stores are starting to carry potted herbs, so you can just buy a basil plant or a parsley, or a cilantro if you're going to use a lot of it...keep it in the window, it'll smell nice, look nice and be there when you need it!
I served this soup to guests for a Mexican night and it was such a big hit, they asked for the recipe and made it at their house a few days later :-)