Tortilla Soup (Sope de Tortilla) I made this last night as a pre-Halloween shake off the cold in a bowl. It’s definitely one of my very favorite I’d Order Thats. Were I owning and running my someday cafe, this would be my signature every day soup. Because it’s full of flavor, healthy, and so easy to prepare.
I like to stay away from canned vegetables because the can leaves a strange tinny after taste. There’s a lot of chopping and peeling and blanching involved with this recipe, but I honestly don’t mind. Because I know that extra time spent prepping gives that fresh from the garden flavor….. and makes me appreciate the farmers …. I mean, I’m just chopping …. they did the heavy lifting.
If I didn’t have access to fresh, frozen is my next choice. Neither available? Then sure….. I’d use canned.
Tip: Save the tender celery leaves for garnish.
Ooops, I lied. I don’t mind the chopping and prepping ……. except for the onion. None of the ‘tearless’ methods of preparation have ever worked for me. That’s why I bought this vegetable chopper. This gadget can mince one large onion in less that a minute, so I can quickly thankfully tearlessly move on to…..
………the solar flare encased in bright green skin a.k.a. jalapeno.
I don’t recall the exact number of recipe tests I did. But I do remember that they were all about finding that perfect balance where no ingredient overwhelmed the other. And I was surprised, with the first few attempts, at how the heat of just one or two jalapenos dominated the entire pot of soup.
By removing the seeds and that white membrane ribbing that holds the heat, l evaded….
…the likelihood of Jalapeno FOODIEBOMBS scene stealing from the other vegetables and fruits.
They all go into a large saute pan with vegetable oil and butter. At medium high heat, stir for 8 minutes or until the carrots are just tender.
Oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. A magical combination.
Plus two tablespoons of Cholula Original hot sauce. I love the mild earthiness of this sauce. Just a little heat, lots of flavor.
All go into the saute for 2 minutes. This is when the aroma will make your stomach growl.
Then transfer into a large soup pot with 6 cups of low sodium non-msg chicken broth.
While the soup simmers for 20 minutes, time to prep the tomatoes. Cut an X on the end of each to allow heat to enter the fruit and loosen the skins.
Then blanch for 2 – 3 minutes. Normal blanching calls for 30 seconds, but I’ve always had a tough time getting the skin off unless they boil a bit longer.
Ice cubes cool them down. See, the skin is already peeling off.
Quarter and scape out the seeds.
Now you’ve got bright fresh chopped tomato.
Drop those ruby reds into the pot. Along with two cooked shredded chicken breasts and cook for 10 more minutes. Oftentimes I buy a readymade rotisserie chicken, shred and use the breasts. (Then mix the rest of the dark meat with bar-b-que sauce and save in the fridge for sandwiches.)
Fresh cilantro, lime and lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of butter. These last ingredients, the final drizzle, pat or leaf — are first to tickle the palate. The citrus brightens it all up, and the butter adds a silkiness. Without them there is a noticeable lack of that special finished flavor.
Finally– the namesake. Crumbled tortilla chips. For authentic, cut fresh corn tortillas into strips and fry to a crisp.
Topped with fresh cilantro, avocado slices and the baby green celery leaves. I’d Order That, have it for dinner and then lunch the next day.
CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
- 2 Tblsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tblsp butter
- 5 carrots (peeled, chopped)
- 5 stalks celery (chopped, save the leaves for garnish)
- 2 cobs of fresh corn kernels
- 2 large jalapenos (seeded and chopped fine)
- 1 large onion (minced)
- 2 Tblsp Cholula Original hot sauce
- 1 Tblsp dried oregano
- 1 Tblsp onion powder
- 1 Tblsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 boxes low sodium chicken broth (32 ounce boxes)
- 4 roma tomatoes (blanched, skinned, seeded, chopped)
- 2 chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
- 2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tblsp butter
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 ripe avocados (sliced for garnish)
- fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- crushed tortilla chips (for garnish)
Serves: 6 - 8
This recipe is mild and best served with a bottle of hot sauce, additional chopped jalapeno, or shaker of cayenne pepper on the table for those who want to add heat.
Try to use fresh vegetables and fruits as often as possible.
This recipe calls for 2 (32 oz) boxes of store bought low sodium chicken broth. Homemade is far better, I just didn't have the time to make it today. Use 1 1/2 boxes (6 cups) and save the remaining 2 cups of broth to refresh leftover soup the next day.
|Bring the oil and butter to medium high heat in a large saute pan.|
|Add the carrots, celery, corn kernels, jalapeno and onion. Saute for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often.|
|Add the hot sauce, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, salt and black pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.|
|Transfer the saute to a large soup pot. Add 1 1/2 boxes (6 cups) of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes.|
|Add the tomatoes and shredded chicken. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes.|
|Add the lemon juice, butter and lime juice.|
|Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Garnish each with the celery leaves, sliced avocado, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.|