10 small corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes and juice (I used petite diced, no-salt-added)
one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (use storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer, fresh may be substituted)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
diced avocado for serving, optional for serving
Tortilla Strips - Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or foil to save cleanup time, loosely scatter the tortilla strips, evenly drizzle with olive oil, evenly sprinkle with kosher salt, toss with hands to coat evenly, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. While strips bake, begin making the soup.
Soup - To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
Add the onion, jalapeno, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, chicken, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you'll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
Taste soup and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Extra tortilla strips will keep in airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.