Get ready for fall with chicken tortilla soup

That chill in the morning air lately is a harbinger of cooler weather to come, of course. Food-wise, that means big bowls of soup, chili, stew, pork roast and braised short ribs will be showing up on tables near you.

Though we didn’t really need warming up, we decided to get a head start on winter when we stopped by La Rosa Blanca in Folsom for a steaming bowl of chicken tortilla soup, the best we’ve found around town. The family-owned and family-staffed restaurant is known for its hefty portions of home-style cooking, using recipes passed down from generations.

How to describe this luscious soup? It starts with a dark, from-scratch broth with a touch of fire from chipotle peppers. Next come hefty pieces of tender meat from chicken thighs and breasts. Big cubes of creamy avocado bob about in the broth, bumping up against strips of crisp tortilla chips. A heavy sprinkle of cheddar and jack cheese round out the production. It’s fragrant, spicy, hearty and a deal at $10.50.

La Rosa Blanaca is at 402 Natoma St.; (916) 673-9085, A sister restaurant is at 2813 Fulton Ave., Sacramento; (916) 484-6104.