Thursday, February 7, 2008

Soup Of The Week: Tortilla Soup

Last night's soup was a new one for us. I've made variations of tortilla soup before, adding this and that to a pot, then stirring in some tortillas or chips and calling it tortilla soup. I've never actually followed a recipe for tortilla soup, though. Until yesterday. I was looking through my soup recipes, really looking for one that used all on-hand ingredients, but also looking for something my kids would eat. I'd originally planned to make a homemade chicken and stars, but that just wasn't sounding great to me. I passed by the tortilla soups a few times, assuming they'd be spicy, but then I went back to them, and I was surprised to find I had everything on hand for one of the recipes.

This tortilla soup is fondly known to the folks at the CLBB as RebeccaT's Tortilla Soup. She was the one who first shared it, and ever since then, so many people have made it and added it to their soup repertoirs. It was about time I did the same. I made one major change to the soup, and that was that I didn't use the chicken called for. Instead, I slowly braised some pork I had in the freezer until it was fork tender, and added that to the soup. In addition, I added a can of corn to the pot to appeal to the kids, and then I added a squeeze of lime at the table.

Can I just say that this soup was a real wow for me! It was delicious and hearty without being overly so. It was perfect with some homemade bread and I can't believe I haven't made it sooner. I have to say though, that I cannot imagine this soup being as good with chicken as it was with pork. The pork melded with the cilantro and spices so beautifully, that I'll probably never try it with the chicken. On a side note, to make this a vegetarian soup you could use a vegetable broth, and instead of the meat, I think I would use navy beans- something white anyway. A leafy green like spinach could stand up to the soup as well, and I would consider that addition as well.

Tortilla Soup

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas -- chopped
6 garlic cloves -- minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 can diced tomatoes -- (28 oz) undrained
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cooked chicken breast halves -- shredded (about 2 cups) (Or cooked and shredded pork)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro, and onion. Saute 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne. Simmer 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat.

Garnish with monterey jack, avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips and a squeeze of lime


JEP said...

Thanks for thinking of us vegetarian folks! What do think of adding kale instead of say, spinach?

Erika W. said...

Really, I think any green would do well- kale, chard, mustard greens. The soup is rich and robust and I think any green would hold up very nicely in it, and accent it well. In fact, I'm thinking the next time I make this soup that I need to add something leafy and green- it would be a natural.

We Are Not Martha said...

Tortilla soup is one of my faves! Might have to borrow your recipe :)

Erika W. said...

Please do! It's delicious! And thanks for dropping in!

Deborah said...

Yes, I'm a little behind in my blog reading...but I just have to comment on this. I tried to make tortilla soup last week, and halfway through realized I had wheat tortillas and not corn - it made such a huge difference! I'll be trying it again soon. :)