January 15, 2009

Tortilla Soup

I love tortilla soup, but I'd never attempted to make it. I figured that it's so delicious that it must be really complicated, right? Well, I have seen a number of versions ranging from the ridiculously complex and time consuming (from my Dona Tomas cookbook) to the surely too simple to be authentic. Here's my variation on one from Simply Recipes (and before that from a Muir Glen can of tomatoes) that struck me as better than most, yet still remarkably easy.

Even after I started making this recipe, I wasn't sure it would turn out like I wanted it to, but in the in end it was pretty spot on. I'm sure the intense, all day version from Dona Tomas is much more authentic and probably tastier, but this was super quick and ended up just like I imagined it should. Comfort food at its finest.
Tortilla Soup
~Print Recipe~

Tortilla Strips
  • 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (for frying)
  1. In a small skillet with high sides, heat canola oil over medium high heat. 
  2. Cut tortillas in half. Then cut the halves into 1/4" to 1/2" strips--cut strips that are 3" or shorter--i.e. cut the strips width-wise rather than lengthwise).
  3. Once it it hot (350 degrees), add tortilla strips and fry for a couple of minutes on each side, until they are golden and crispy.
  4. Use a couple of extra tortillas to fry tortilla chips (for snacking--believe me, you'll want some), when fry the strips(for the soup. Let drain on a paper towel.
    The Soup
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 medium Anaheim, poblano or jalapeƱo chile, seeded, veins removed, chopped (We put one Anaheim and two jalapeƱos--nice and spicy!)
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes, un-drained (I found Safeway brand.)
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
    • 1 ripe medium avocado, cut into cubes
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used cheddar, but whatever you like)
    • Chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges (I have lime juicer, one of my favorite gadgets! Get one.)
    1. Heat a little of the remaining oil (from frying strips) in a saucepan on medium-high. Saute your onion for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and chilies, cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
    2. Stir in the chicken broth, the whole can of tomatoes and the salt. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Add the cooked chicken. Let it simmer until the chicken is hot.
    4. Divide half of the tortilla strips among the bowls you'll be eating from. Ladle soup on top of the tortillas. Top with shredded cheese, remaining tortilla strips, cilantro and avocado. Drizzle with lime juice.


    1. um, yum! I can't wait to try this!

    2. Wow! Lauren, Mary Ann and I made this tonight (Friday has become Mexican food night) using the chicken stock from the enchiladas. This is definitely one of the best soups I've ever made, so delicious! It's like waffles, the more toppings the better. We put Crema on top as well. Also fried up our own chips.

    3. You can also make this in the crock pot by putting all ingredients in (except toppings) and using frozen chicken (rinsed) instead of cooked. Low for 8-10 hours should do it.


    Please leave a comment!